View Full Version : Night of Dreams
September 1st, 2007, 01:47 AM
Set of the first scene:
Night of Dreams
She knew someone was following her and it was time to move on from Tifton.
Pamela love the state of Georgia, but she would never let the Scott's get their hands on her son. She did not care about the money her son would inherit from his GrandFather.
It was blood money.
September 3rd, 2007, 01:26 AM
The crickets chirred around her as she crept through front yard. Her son, slept in her arms, and with nothing but what was on her back, she made her way though the tall grass. She could do this. She was strong enough. At least, if Pamela kept telling herself that, she thought it might be true.
As she approached the old car, she asked herself if she had everything she needed. Corey’s insulin? Yes. She had all of his diabetic supplies. Test strips, reader, needles, insulin. Cash? Scott, the bastard, would either cut off all the credit cards or at least use them to track her. She had a good amount of cash on her and she had her PayPal debit card—an account that Scott never knew about. The backpack held three changes of clothing for the both of them and in her hand she held the heaviest car keys she’d ever carried.
The car could be traced, but three counties over Markus should be waiting for her to swap vehicles. This should—should—play out like a common disappearance.
If only she could lift her hand and put the key in the door. Pamela stared at the long Ford key. The silver of the key seemed to magnify the moonlight. A clear night for clear thoughts. Finally, clear thoughts. Finally, she’d made it this far. Her heart raced in her chest and she worked her arm under her son’s knees trying to get the key to the door. It missed. Missed by a long shot.
Cutting her eyes to her sleepy son’s face, Pamela whispered, “Sh, sh, sweetheart, just go back to sleep.”
“Momma?” Corey lifted one of his small hands and patted her face. “Don’t worry, Momma. When I’m bigger daddy won’t hurt you no more.”
And that’s all the courage Pamela needed. “Don’t worry, baby, Daddy won’t do that anymore now.” She pushed the key into the door and put her son in the passenger seat. Scott was, most likely, too drunk to hear the car start, but she didn’t want to risk it. After putting the backpack in the floor between Corey’s feet, she stretched an arm across her son’s thighs and put the car in neutral.
September 8th, 2007, 11:56 PM
Pamela held her breath, gave Corey's sleep rumpled hair a shake and turned the ignition.
"Damned piece of crap," she swore and tried again. Not even a groan. Frantically, she tried the radio, the lights, all dead. "I hate you," she screamed. "I hate you!"
"Momma, what's happening?" Did I do something wrong?" Corey's eyes widened in fright and he clutched his mother's trembling arm. "I'm sorry. Don't be mad, please."
Pamela grabbed her child and held him tight. Waves of rage crashed through her body and wiped out any fear she'd had. What kind of monster had she married that could cause such terror in their little boy?
"No, baby," she whispered, holding his tear soaked chin in her hand. "You didn't do one thing wrong, understand? Mommy's just mad at this stupid car, that's all. It's a stupid, stupid car."
"Stupid car," he parroted.
"We're going to get out quiet as two little mice, okay? Can you do that?"
Pamela opened the door slowly but the loud squeak seemed amplified and seemed to drown out the cricket's concert. She reached over, grabbed Corey and the backpack and moved quickly but stealthily down the driveway.
The moon was full tonight. At least she had that break. With a steady stride she walked without stopping until she'd reached the Anderson's house. Corey had fallen asleep again and with aching arms, Pamela put Corey down carefully under a magnificent live oak.
Now what? If she'd had time to think this out a little better, she would have come up with a Plan B. But here she was, less than two miles from home and without a car. How long would it be before Frankie Scott sobered up and called the rest of the Scott clan? She'd tried once before, only once. Pamela absently fingered the two inch scar high on her forehead. She hadn't made it further than the front door.
Not again. Never again.
She picked up Corey and began walking, increasing the stride of her steps.
Suddenly, the road lit up.
It was too late to run. Pamela knew she'd been spotted.
A black Miata pulled next to her and an unfamiliar voice called out.
September 14th, 2007, 07:24 PM
Pamela clutched Corey to her breast, held her breath and pressed heself against the oak tree as though it were possible to mold herself into the trunk.
The Miata stopped and with the engine idling, a tall stranger stepped out. He stared at Pamela and seemingly surprised, at Corey's small sleeping body.
Pamela reached in her pocket and found the long Ford keys. If he got any closer to her baby, she'd go for his throat.
"Didn't expect to see anyone out on the Fairfax road at this time. Are you all right? Can I be of assistance?"
Pamela knew the long arm of her in-laws and their influence over just about everybody in the county. She trusted no one. "We're fine. Just out for a walk."
"A bit late for a midnight stroll, if you ask me."
"I don't believe anybody did ask you." She stared defiantly into the stranger's blue eyes and fingered the car keys. "You don't look familiar. Why don't you tell me what you are doing out at this time?"
"Getting out of Georgia and into South Carolina. Know what they say about you can never go home again? Believe me, it's true. If I never see Sommesville--my sacred birthpplace--it's none too soon for me."
"So, you're telling me you are just passing through."
"Fast as I legally can, ma'am. Hope to be in Charleston by tomorrow. I'm as sick of this state as it is of me." He pushed back a lock of curly, black hair. "But I guess that's more information than you're interested in."
Pamela arched an eyebrow. Under other circumstances, she would have appreciated the strength of his jawbone, his thick jet black hair and the riple of muscles stretching out of his tee shirt.
"So, I'll make my exit. I thought you might be in trouble, but if you're sure..."
"I'm sure." Pamela felt anything but sure. Maybe he didn't have anything to do with Scotts. Letting him go could be the biggest mistake of her life.
He got bak into the car and slammed the door.
"Momma," cried Corey. "Is it Daddy? Is he going to hit you again?"
The door opened and the man got out slowly. He bent down and looked at Corey. "Hi, little man. I thought you might need a little help."
"Yes," he said. "Daddy made Momma cry. He threw his bottle at Momma and it smashed all over the wall. Then he got my snow globe with the happy family and...." Corey's slow sobs grew into a wail.
Pamela hadn't thought her heart had any pieces big enough to break, but found even slivers could shatter. "Shh, baby, it's okay. It's okay."
"Ma'am, if you don't mind my intruding. I don't think it is okay. My name is Zach and I can understand you not wanting to trust a stranger, but I don't think you've got a choice, do you?
Pamela looked into Zach's face and saw the truth. She had to take the chance and trust this man. "Let's go," she said.
Pamela held Corey on her lap and as Zach stepped on the gas, she looked in the sideview mirrow and said a silent goodbye to Tipton.
September 18th, 2007, 01:42 PM
In the dim dashboard lighting, Zach glanced over at the two sleeping figures in his passenger seat.
He hadn't caught the woman's nor the child's names, but her horror strictened face, when he pulled up, told him enough to know the look of a woman on the run from abuse. The few words the child had spoken before bursting into heart-wretching sobs had been enough to tear down even the toughest men, himself included.
Zach had lived a rough life and he'd seen a lot of hardships in his time, but he was softhearted beneath his gruff exterior and well, he couldn't easily leave a damsel in distress. Especially not one with a child in tow wandering down the road in the middle of the night.
In the moonlight she had stood out like a dark murky dream, dressed in black denim jeans and what looked like a navy blue sweat shirt, her long blonde hair swung down around her waist from a ponytail and she had a slightly prominent scar across her forehead. At first he thought her a figment of his tired eyes and imagination, but when she'd looked frantically in his direction and then backed against the tree she had reminded him of a skittish cat.
He knew she was in trouble, whoever she was. And after what the boy had said, there was no way he was leaving her there, like a sacrifice to the devil. Apparently she was married to him.
Zach tried to concentrate on the road ahead of him in the high beams of the headlights. From time to time he would glance over again when he senses the woman stir in her sleep or hear the child's small snores pressed against his mother's chest.
What the heck are you doing Zach? he chastised himself. He had enough trouble on his behind than to take this woman and her child with him to Charleston.
How could he just dump her and the child there once they arrived though? It wouldn't be very nice of him, but he had his own problems to handle and a life to leave behind and he didn't need more trouble following him. Unfortunately, if her problems gave chase, he'd brought it on himself the moment he'd stopped to see if she needed help.
September 18th, 2007, 09:14 PM
(I couldn’t find a Sommesville, GA. So, I put their starting point in Brooks County.)
So, it was settled then. There’d be no dumping for she was a damsel in distress and he, apparently, a knight in shining armor. He glanced down at his cotton knit shirt. Maybe not so shining. He remembered his “lack of employment” situation. Maybe not so knightly either. Cutting a quick glance toward her, he wondered if Cinderella would be upset once she realized she’d been cheated. As far as knights go, Zach was at the bottom of the barrel.
Mile markers zoomed past on the side of the road and he thought that “bottom of the barrel” thing might be a bit too hard on himself. Sure, he was out of work. Yes, his clothing was far from armor. But! For the next so-many-hundred miles, Cinderella and the child would be safe. Just thinking about what would have caused that bruise on her face made him feel ill.
She softly moaned and yawned. “Sorry, I must have dozed off.”
Zach smiled. “It seems like you’ve had a rough time of it as of late. I’m glad you felt safe enough to rest.”
“Where are we?”
“Roundabouts the county line.”
“Leaving Lowndnes. I like to drive on coasts. So, I’m heading there.”
She sighed with what sounded like relief. “Do you mind if we make a short pit stop in Clinch county?”
“Not at all.” He stole a quick glance and watched her shift a lock of hair from the boy’s face. “So, what’s your name?”
Silence answered his question. The hum of the road filled the car and the clack of the spacers in the road made the hum seem all the more thick. The quiet grew uncomfortable and he nodded. “Fair enough. I’ll just call you Cinderella.” Apparently, she had trust issues and a name was mighty personal.
“Cuz, I reckon, you just found your knight in shining armor.” He chuckled. “If you consider the cheap wax job ‘shiny’ and foreign steel ‘armor’.” If his ears didn’t deceive him, that just might have been a giggle from the beautiful, but bruised Cinderella. “Sorry, but I’m fresh out of shoes.”
And that was a true laugh from her.
Perhaps he owned no armor, but he could pull off being the good guy, couldn’t he?
September 22nd, 2007, 09:06 AM
Pamela slowly sipped her coffe in the busy diner while watching Zach and Corey play another game of tic tac toe and smiled when Zach let him win again. She closed her eyes and listened to Corey's cascading giggles and the easy laugh of the man she'd dubbed Prince Charming to match her Cinderella. If only this was her reality and not an imagined fairy tale.
"What's up, princess?" Zach looked up. "Are you still thinking about Savannah?"
"It was good enough for Scarlett O'Hara." Pamela tried to sound casual so he wouldn't sense leaving him was the very last thing she wanted to do. "Just might be the time for us to part company. I can never thank you enough for rescuing us in the middle of the night, but I can't take advantage of you much longer."
Zach picked up her hands and an electric surge flowed through her, waking something deep inside her she'd thought long dead. "Listen, princess, if Savannah is want you want, then that's what you'll get." He leaned in closer and Pamela caught the heady scent of musk. "But, let's try some honesty. You couldn't wait to get as far from Tipton as possible. Something's scaring you. Think I haven't noticed the way you look behind you every five miles and the way you check out every place we stop?"
Pamela began to deny it all, but stopped. She'd lived a life of lies and now didn't have the strength for one more. For a short time she'd glimpsed a life that could have been, happy and free, instead of fearing an abusive husband. She wanted to beg Zach to take them with him and let her feel safe. Instead she freed her hands from his and said, "We're not your responsibility." Her voice was flat.
She reached in her pocket and took out $30 and stood up. "This is on me. I need to make a quick run to the ladies room." She ruffled Corey's hair. "Ready?"
Corey shook his head adamantly. "I went already. You gave me my medicine, 'member?"
She nodded and looked at Zach. "Just be a sec."
Before leaving the ladies room, Pamela caught her pale, disheveled reflection in the harsh fluorescent mirror. "Some princess!" she muttered.
The first thing she saw was the empty booth and a flutter of fear touched her. She heard a child's giggle near the door and was instantly relieved. "Corey?" They'd left his backpack with all of his medicine on the seat and grabbed it. "Corey, you can't just walk......"
It wasn't Corey. It was another boy. A real, happy family, not imagined like hers.
Now real fear raced through her. What have I done? "COREY!" she screamed and opened the door just in time to see the Miata speed away.
September 22nd, 2007, 09:54 AM
Pamela felt her entire world screeched to a halt. Her heart pounded in her ears as she wondered what she had gotten herself into, but more importantly what she'd gotten Corey into. She cursed herself for trusting Zach.
Gut instinct had warned her not to trust him, but his casual good looks and his kindness had fooled her completely. And to think she had fancied herself attracted to him.
Scoundrel! Cad! Kidnapper! Her heart leapt in her chest. She ran back into the diner where they'd been enjoying lunch and approached the counter quickly.
The waitress looked up and smiled, but that quickly faded when she saw the look on Pamela's face, "Honey, what's wrong?"
"That man just kidnapped my child," her words rushed out much louder than she had intended. She glanced around in panic as several of the other patrons of the small diner looked her way.
"Here, call 911," the older woman behind the counter said quickly and handed her a cordless phone.
After speaking to the dispatcher and giving as much information as she could about the color and model of Zach's Miata, she handed the phone back to the waitress.
"Was that man your husband?" the older woman asked.
"No, I don't even know him," her voice faltered when the older woman's eyebrows raised.
Pamela realized just how bad that sounded. She had forgotten herself and knew this didn't bode well for her situation in the least. She shouldn't have called the police. She was a woman on the run and if the police got involved they'd take her right back to Frankie Scott.
Worse still, she was certain Frankie had probably already called in the Scott clan to hunt her down and bring her home. There would be a beating to end all beatings if Frankie got her back in his grasp. He had beaten her before to the point that she'd ended up in the hospital and almost died. Everything has been smoothed over and she'd gotten better and came back home and accepted her fate.
But that was before she'd had Corey. She didn't care if he was heir to his grandfather's fortune. She knew the truth about too many deaths associated with all that money and there was one death she still couldn't come to grips with. She hated the Scotts. They had caused more trouble for her and her family than any of that money was worth.
She gave a quick glance toward the waitress, who was now down the counter taking another customer's order. She looked around to make sure that no one was watching her and was relieved to find everyone had gone back to their meals.
Pamela stood up and almost ran for the door. She was going to have to figure out how to find Zach and get Corey back without the help of the cops. She wasn't sure how, but she sure hoped she found them before the cops did.
September 22nd, 2007, 02:45 PM
Super Secret Special Agent Corey was on the case. Tucked down behind a large blue van, he watched the feet of the bad guys in black suits. Peering between the wheels, Corey nearly snickered. Nearly snickered—he didn’t, because super secret special agents don’t snicker. The Evil Ones in the black suits would never find him. They were completely in the wrong part of the parking lot!
Corey felt a tap on his shoulder and looked at Super Secret Special Agent Zach. Zach held his index finger to his lips and Corey nodded. It was time for Operation: Be Quiet.
Corey’s clothes became that suit he always saw James Bond wear as he crawled under the van. James Bond was the best! But that point wasn’t for now. No. Now needed secrecy and stealth even if the Evil Ones were still in the wrong part of the parking lot. What idiots!
Hearing the familiar voice, Corey looked toward his mother. She sounded completely panicked. All he could see was her feet and the dangling straps of his backpack.
This wasn’t fair. James Bond never had a mother. Corey worried his bottom lip and tried to figure out what James Bond would do. Maybe Agent Zach would know? He crawled to the side of the van and couldn’t find Agent Zach.
So, it came down to this: him and her. In his mind, Zach heard that movie guy’s voice in his head.
Then the screen would show three car explosions and one helicopter crash.
The fate of the democracy rested in their hands.
The Whitehouse would scroll across the screen and a flag would wave.
One. Fateful. Decision.
The “camera” zoomed in on Corey’s hand as he picked up a pebble and tried to toss it at his mother’s feet.
He missed…by a long shot. That’s something Corey thought was unfair, really. James Bond never missed. His mother’s feet scrambled across the parking lot as she ducked behind one of those really big cars that makes their car shake when they’re sitting at a stoplight and the other car zoomed by. Crawling closer to her, but still under the van, Corey flicked another pebble at Agent Mom. He didn’t hit her foot, but it did roll toward her. He watched as she looked at the pebble. He flicked another one.
She crouched closer to the ground and looked under the van. Her mouth dropped open and she very clearly mouthed, “Oh my God! Corey!”
Corey rolled his eyes. That’s Agent Corey. Didn’t moms know anything? He held a finger to his lips before pointing toward the guys who were quickly making their way to this side of the parking lot. He mouthed, “Bad guys.”
Agent Mom nodded and replied just as silently. “Very bad guys.”
She, with the backpack still in her hand, lay down upon the parking lot and crawled under the van. At least Agent Mom still had “the merchandise.” She whispered as she ran her fingers of his head, “Are you all right, baby?”
Corey whined, “Oh God, Mom.” Shrugging out from under her touch, he rolled his eyes. “Not now.” Agent Mom needed to go back to agent school. “This is Operation; Be Quiet.”
“Yes, baby, yes it is.”
At least she knew THAT.
A car pulled up behind the van and Corey heard someone get out. “Bill! Tim! I just heard it on the scanner.”
Corey’s eyes grew wide. He knew that voice. That’s Agent Mom’s friend Markus. Was it time for another pebble? Markus was cool enough to be an agent.
The other men jogged toward Markus. A strange man’s voice spoke. “Wasn’t she supposed to be with you by now?”
“She never showed up at the rendezvous point.”
Corey didn’t know what a ron-day-view point was, but he wanted one! That sounded cool! Very spy like. Yes! All agents would now be coming with their own ron-day-views and they wouldn’t just have a wussy point. Nope! Corey’s agents would come with their own ron-day-view lines. A whole line of them!
In the corner of his eye, he saw Agent Mom’s hands started to shake. She grabbed Corey’s wrist as her face twisted in pain and she started to cry. Something invisible and heavy formed in Corey’s chest. Agents weren’t supposed to cry. Something was wrong with the mission. Really, really wrong. Agent Mom was a pretty woman—for a mom—and Corey hated seeing her cry.
A car horn blasted through the air making Corey jump and knock his head against the underside of the van. As the car quickly approached, Corey recognized it as Agent Zach’s car. Oh! And the top was down! Just like in the movies! Corey tugged against his mothers grasp and crawled out from under the van.
Agent Zach came to an abrupt halt sending pebbles flying and putting a cloud of dust in the air. “Get in!”
Jumping over the passenger door Agent Corey and Agent Mom bounced in the backseat. Blue-gray smoke billowed from behind the car as Agent Zach headed for the parking lot exit.
Corey rolled his eyes. “You did it wrong.”
“How so?” Agent Zach asked.
“You were supposed to say, ‘Come with me if you want to live.’” That settled it. Adults didn’t know anything.
“Well, duck if you want to live. They’re armed.” The car nearly jumped off the ground as Zach gunned the engine.
Corey ducked down behind the driver’s seat. That HAD to be cool enough to be a ron-day-view.
September 23rd, 2007, 06:40 PM
A hand touched Corey's face and he pushed it away. Where was Momma? The bad people were after them.
"Corey? Wake up, little man."
Now Corey's eyes opened wide. Startled, he almost jumped out of his seat. "Go away," he yelled.
Zach's worried face peered down at him. "You were having quite the dream there, buddy."
Corey rubbed his eyes and looked out the Miata's window. "A dream? But I was James Bond and they were after us. Where's Momma? She needs me."
"James Bond?" Zach laughed. "Amazing what you six-year olds know." His smile left. "But your mother does need us. We've got to move quick or she's going to be in one heck of a mess. Think you can help, Master Bond?"
Corey nodded. "Momma always says I'm her little helper. I'm real good at staying out of Daddy's hair," he said proudly. "But where is she, Zach? Why did we have to leave her alone?" His mouth quivered and a tear spilled from his eye.
Zach picked up Corey's small, trembling chin, wiped away the tear away and glanced at his watch. "It's a long story and we have to get going. But don't worry, buddy," he added after seeing the frightened look on Corey's face, "she'll be just fine. I promise." He buckled Corey up, thinking it fortunate the passenger side air bag was broken. He started up the car and they sped down I-95. He got his cell phone off the dash and hit redial. "Marie? Yeah, this is Zach. We're about two minutes away. Is she still waiting in the same place? Good." He snapped his phone shut.
Pamela sat in the waitress' blue Saturn and wept. She'd tried to think of something for the last ten minutes, but the only thought in her head was she might never see Corey again. She put her head down by her knees and forced the nausea away. How could she have been so stupid? Nothing was worth losing Corey. Frankie and the rest of the Scotts could do anything they wanted to her now. She didn't care. Just bring my baby back, God. Please.
A squeal of tires and a flash of headlights. Pamela sat upright and saw the Miata. And Corey! Smiling. Never had a prayer been answered so quickly. She flew out of the car, opened the Miata's door and tried to unbuckle Corey. "Are you okay, baby? How could you do this to me, Zach?" she screamed.
"Listen, Cinderella or whatever your name is. Get in the car quick. The people you've been running from were in the diner."
"In the car. Now!"
Pamela reacted with gut instinct and pushed herself inside. Nobody said a word until they were about five miles from the diner and were all sure they weren't being followed.
"Explain." Pamela held Corey tight. "Tell me why I should believe anything you'll say."
Zach glanced again at the rearview mirror and exhaled deeply. "While Corey and I were waiting for you to come back from the ladies' room, a couple of guys walked in. Maybe it was the way they scoped out the room, but I got on instant alert. I made Corey hide under the booth. Sure enough when they walked by I heard them talking about leaving Tifton this morning and what they would do when they found that blond bitch and her little boy. Never been great at math, but I can add two and two together. You've been afraid of these guys finding you since...well, since I found you."
"But why did you leave without me?" Pamela cried.
"Yeah," echoed Corey.
Zach smiled. "Luck. Both incredibly good and incredibly bad. These guys were smack in front of our booth---" he paused. "Marcus. I remember one of them was Marcus." He caught her gasp, but ignored it for now. "Anyway, right at that moment, this Marcus seemed to realize he'd left his wallet at a gas station about 25 miles away and they left like bats out of hell. That was the good luck."
"And the bad, besides kidnapping my son?" Pamela asked.
"The reason I'm left Tipton in the middle of the night. See, I like a good game of poker and well, let's say this one guy I played with wasn't so impressed with I.O.U.'s. Trust me, it wouldn't have been good for any of us if he found me. I got my chance to escape and took it. And that waitress, Marie, she's the sister of an exgirlfriend of mine. Has a thing for me. Anyway, I grabbed her while running out the door and explained it all to her in 25 words or less. That 911 call you made was to me. I got her to safekeep you in her car."
"No police, then?" she asked.
He shook his head.
"Pamela," she said.
Zach looked puzzled.
"Pamela," she repeated. "That's my name. And in case you're interested, I still want to kill you."
Zach laughed. "You'll have to take a number for that. Pamela." His cell phone rang and he picked it up before the second ring. He listened without saying anything for a while. "You sent them west? Thanks, Marie. I owe you."
Pamela's heart pounded. "Your poker buddy?"
He accelerated the Miata into fifth gear. "Marcus."
September 25th, 2007, 02:45 PM
“Are you sure we’re safe here?” Pamela asked, glancing around the room. The run-down hotel they found off the old highway wasn’t too bad, but was definitely in dire need for a makeover.
“I doubt they’ll look any further than the interstate,” Zach replied, peeking out the heavy-curtained windows. “I’ll keep a look-out for trouble while you and Corey get a good night’s sleep.”
Pamela covered Corey with the blanket. The poor little guy had fallen asleep when his head hit the pillow. If anyone needed a good night’s sleep it was him.
“I’m sorry I accused you of kidnapping him,” she said as she walked towards him.
“Don’t worry your pretty head about it.” He smiled. “You’re a good mother Pamela.”
“If I was a good mother, I would’ve left Tipton a long time ago,” she said, stopping just before him. She inspected his deep brown eyes and smiled. “You have been too generous with us. I don’t know how to thank you.”
Unable to resist, she suddenly fell into his strong arms. Tears streamed her cheeks as he held her against him, stroking her hair, gently soothing her in his embrace.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I’m here for you as long as you need me.”
She slowly pulled from his arms and turned her eyes to his. The deafening silence worked a magic within her, as if an unseen force slowly lifted her towards his lips. The ache coursing through her body needed him, desired him more than she’d ever wanted a man before. But it ended abruptly with a loud knock on the hotel door.
Startled, she quickly moved to the bed and stood ready to pick Corey up and run.
“Who is it?” Zach asked, standing with his hand on the knob.
“It’s Marcus. Let me in. We need to talk.”
September 26th, 2007, 01:44 PM
"Marcus? Is that really you? I need to explain...." Pamela pushed Zach's hand from the doorknob and began to open the door.
"Are you crazy?" Zach grabbed her hand and gently pushed her away, now standing between her and the heavy motel door.
"Pamela? Are you okay?" Marcus yelled. "Pamela?"
"Marcus, I..." Pamela started for the door again, but Zach stood firmly in her way.
"You want to let this guy in? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the guy you've been running away from since Tipton?" Zach ran his fingers through his wild tangle of hair.
"You don't understand." Pamela's blue eyes glistened with tears. "He's my friend. All those years with Frankie," she sobbed, stepping back in an almost drunken manner, "those horrible, nightmare years with Frankie, it was that man--" she pointed to the door, "--who helped me through it. He's always been my friend and always there when I needed him."
"What?" Zach shook his head.
"I wasn't running away from Marcus," Pamela said, tears sliding down her cheeks. "I was running to him."
"Pamela, open the door." Marcus banged the door. "So help me, if you hurt one hair on her head, I'll---"
"I'm okay, Marcus. Give me a second. Please." She glanced at her son, her baby, and listened to the small, uneven snores coming from his exhausted body. She turned back to Zach. "Besides Corey, Marcus is my only friend and the only one I really trust. Her eyes were defiant behind brimming tears.
Zach realized he shouldn't feel wounded when it was obvious she didn't consider him a friend, but the words still stung. "He didn't sound even close to being a friend when I saw him back in the diner. And I saw his eyes, Pamela. I don't trust him. Maybe you do, but I don't." But he moved away from the door, allowing her to do as she wished.
With hesitation, Pamela opened the door. "Marcus." She ran into his arms. "I never thought I'd see you again."
Marcus held her tight to his chest and moved quickly inside. "I don't want anyone to see us," he said. "It's not safe." He saw Zach for the first time and both men's eyes turned to slits. "And who the hell is this?"
Zach combed his hand through his hair. "Not quite a friend, I guess."
Before Marcus could respond, Pamela embraced him again. "You can't believe how frightened I was," she said.
"I'm here now. Everything's going to be just fine," he said and kissed her neck softly.
Zach watched them, trying to sort out his feelings. He could just leave now. She obviously didn't want or need his help. He was about to get his keys off the dresser and say goodbye when he noticed a glint of steel on Marcus' hip.
Why was he carrying a gun?
September 26th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Pamela snuggled into Marcus's shoulder, trying to wipe her happy tears away. It was such a relief to see a familiar face.
"Pamela," she heard Zach's voice behind her, and a warning signal set off like lightning through her entire body.
"My best advice to you would be not to make any sudden moves," Marcus said sharply, drawing something from his side and aiming it at Zach.
"Marcus? What are you doing?" Pamela backed up away from Marcus's embrace and saw the light glare off the barrel of a gun, "Oh, God, Marcus!"
"You're not going anywhere Pammy, but your new little friend is going to be leaving now," Marcus said, his voice full of grit and anger.
"I'm not going anywhere," Zach spoke up, "Not after what I heard you say at the diner. I don't know what kind of friend you are to Pamela and Corey, but you don't seem like the kind they deserve."
"You're going to get out of here now before I blow your head off your shoulders," Marcus growled, "But then again, I do believe I know you pretty well too you little weasel, and you owe me big time."
September 26th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Marcus screamed and one of his knees buckled. Zach didn’t know what had provided them such good fortune, but he lunged for the gun and forced the barrel toward the ceiling.
“Hurts, don’t it?” Corey looked up at the adults. “I don’t like him, Mommy.”
“You little bastard.” Marcus jerked his leg and an insulin syringe fell from behind his knee.
Pamela gasped, “Corey was there insulin in that?”
Corey shook his head. “No, you told me to not waste my medicine.” Corey knitted his brow. "I didn't waste it, Momma. I promise!"
While hooking his foot on the back of one of Marcus’s knees, Zach shoved and forced Marcus off balance. Marcus went down and the gun fired. Zach’s ears ran and the smell of burn gun powder threaded the air. “So much for stealth.”
September 27th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Pamela fell to the floor, grabbed the gun and leapt to her feet. "Someone's going to tell me what's going on here," she said.
Marcus sat on the worn carpet, raised his hands in the air and backed himself against the dresser. "I talk a whole lot better without a gun pointed at my face."
Zach rubbed his left arm that felt bruised and sore from the scuffle. He stared at Marcus, puzzled. "I'd like someone to tell me what the hell is going on, too. I've never seen you before and I never forget a face. Never. So how can I owe you---" He stopped as the proverbial light when on in his head and he snapped his fingers. "The poker game. You didn't play, but I remember someone talking about this being Marc's house." He turned to Pamela who shakily alternated pointing the gun at him and Marcus. "Guess I don't add two and two together so well after all. He's the guy I owe---"
"A grand," Marcus said. "And in Tipton, we don't take it lightly when someone runs out without paying up."
"Okay, Marcus," Pamela said with the gun still weaving back and forth between the two men. "I get that part. Zach owes you money. Okay. But how could you put us in danger like you did?" She began to cry again, hating herself for looking weak. "I just got through telling Zach you were the only person I could trust and you pull this on me?"
Marcus shook his head. "No, Pam. I know what it looks like, but this is complicated. You have no idea."
"Then why don't you s'plain yourself, Lucy?" Zach said, rubbing his arm again and wondered if he might have sprained it.
"Listen, Pam. Corey." Marcus looked at her and her little boy. "You know you can trust me." He ignored Zach's sarcastic laugh. "When you asked me to help you leave Frankie and meet you in Charleston, wasn't I there for you? Didn't we map out our plan so carefully all that week. In the greenhouse," he said softly.
Pamela nodded and let the gun slip to her side. The greenhouse. It was where she'd meet him, where she let him kiss her, touch her, hold her. And after those steamy embraces, she had to push him away, but promised him that one day when she would really be his, as his wife. "The greenhouse," she repeated.
"So, master gardeners, where did it all go wrong? Finish up, Marcus." Zach's arm really pained him now and feeling slightly lightheaded, he sat heavy on the bed.
"Frankie called a bunch of his guys over when he found you'd left, sending everyone in a different direction. When I heard him telling his cousin Jimmy to head toward Charleston I said I'd go with him to make sure he wouldn't find you, or hurt you. That's it, Pam." His looked into Pamela's eyes, forcing them to lock onto his. "How could you ever think I'd do anything to hurt you? You know how I feel about you. Are you going to believe this stranger? Or me?"
Pamela looked at Marcus, then Zach.
"Zach." She hustled to the bed.
"What?" Marcus' face blanched. "You're taking his side?"
She caught Zach before he fell off the bed. "He's bleeding, Marcus." Pamela's hand came away with blood. "He's been shot."
September 27th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Marcus got up off the floor and rushed toward Pamela, who was trying to steady Zach.
"You keep your hands off of me," Zach fired, glaring at Marcus.
"We have to get you some help Zach," Pamela said, "But how? Corey and I can't be seen out in public."
She turned a pleading gaze at Marcus. She wasn't sure whether to trust him or not anymore. Even though he'd been there for her for so long, this new twist in the story had her heart racing and her palms sweating. She loved him, but she knew her attraction to Zach squelched those she'd had for Marcus before. Marcus had been a comfort to her, but moreso as a friend. She wasn't sure if she had led him on in believing she would marry him someday. She did care a great deal for him, but now what?
Marcus was scowling just as much as Zach, but when his eyes met hers, she could see he was willing to do it for her sake which filled her all the more with guilt. But more important was getting help for Zach's injury.
"I could take him to the hospital, but I don't think he'll die from it. We should check it out first," Marcus said, trying to approach Zach again.
"Back off bub. If anyone checks it, it will be Pamela."
She felt helpless. She hated the sight of blood and already felt the queasiness bubbling in her stomach. She had tended her own wounds and cuts before, but someone else's blood was another story. It was the only way Zach would agree to be examined though, so she tentatively pulled his sleeve aside.
"We need some better lighting and we need to go in the bathroom and rinse it off. I can't tell if it's just a flesh wound or if it's much worse."
"Will Agent Zach be alright?"
Pamela swung around and looked at her son in surprise. Oh geez! She'd forgotten all about him being witness to all this grown-up ruckus.
"He's going to be fine," Marcus said, going over to sit on the edge of the bed with Corey so that Pamela could tend to Zach's wound in the bathroom.
"It's hurting like hell," Zach said through gritted teeth, "but thank you for taking care of it."
Pamela grimaced as he took a seat on the commode lid and propped his arm on the sink counter. She lifted the sleeve again and ran the water into her hand, gently pouring it over, watching the blood color the porcelain bowl, streams of bright red against the stark white. For how dingy the room had been, she was suddenly startled by how clean the bathroom was.
She could hear the loud humming in her ears, the beginnings of nausea touching her abdomen, but she gulped and continued to tend to Zach's arm.
"How are we going to get out of this? I've gotten you and Marcus into a bind..." her words trailed off. She felt those weak foolish tears stinging the backs of her eyes and fought them as best she could.
"Don't worry about it, Princess," Zach said groggily, "We'll all be fine."
His other hand reached up, the tips of his fingers touching her cheek softly. He was so close, but he was also miles away. Shock was setting in. She could see it in his eyes.
Just at that moment, she heard loud banging and shouting outside the hotel room.
September 29th, 2007, 09:05 AM
"Police! Open up!"
"Oh, God, what do we do now?" Pamela asked Zach who was quickly slipping toward unconciousness.
Marcus and Corey appeared at the bathroom door. "We've got to do something or they'll bust the door down," Marcus said.
"I have an idea," Zach said taking a deep breath to try and clear his head. Pulling himself up off the commode, he had Pam tie a handtowel over his wound and stumbled toward Marcus. "If you're for real, you'll play along. If not, we'll find out soon enough," he muttered, looping his good arm around Marcus' neck in something between a bear hug and a headlock.
"We're coming," he yelled to the Officer who'd pounded on the door demanding entrance again. "Where's the gun?" he asked Pamela.
"I don't know," she replied, suddenly panicked. "I dropped it when you fell."
"Buddy?" Zach queried of Marcus, giving him a subtle squeeze.
"It's under the mattress," he said. "I stashed it when I heard the sound of people running toward the room."
"Get it, Pam," Zach instructed, then to the police who'd knocked again and threanted forceful entry. "I said we're coming! Don't do anything stupid there's a child in here!"
At that moment the fuzzy plan in his brain materialized. "Agent Corey, ready for some secret action?" Corey nodded, excitement replacing the fear in his eyes. Zach nodded, "Okay, back me up, Partner."
Giving Marcus another squeeze, he told him to open the door. "And act like we're the best of pals, Pal." Zach ordered.
Unsure what was about to happen and equally unsure of his role in Pamela and Corey's get-away now that another man was involved, Marcus did as he was told and opened the door.
"What's going on in here?" the police officer asked. "Manager said it sounded like gun shots."
A sound, something between a groan and a chuckle escaped Zach. "Manager's right, but all an accident. See my little partner over there?" he asked, nodding his head to indicate Corey sitting quietly on the bed next to his mother. The officer nodded.
"Well, that's my son," he paused long enough to pass Corey a conspiratory wink. "This, is my friend." He gave Marcus a slight shake, "and the lady is my wife. We're on our way to a nice little cabin in the woods for a few days and I brought my pistol for snakes, you know?" The officer nodded.
"My pal here was playing around with my boy and the gun went off. I swear, we all though it was unloaded."
"Do you need medical attention?" The officer asked, noting the pallor of Zach's skin.
"No, Sir. It's just a flesh wound. We'll patch it up and be on our way in the morning."
The officer hesitated. Gut instinct told him there was more to the story, but the last thing he wanted was to spend all night investigating only to find out this was an accident and keep the family from their vacation. "Well, if you're sure...." his words trailed off when his radio blared that a convience-store robbery was underway. Responding to the radio dispatcher, he threw a last piece of advice over his shoulder, "Be careful, unloaded guns kill the most people!"
"Thank you," Zach yelled back, stepping away from the door.
Marcus managed to close the door a mere few seconds before Zach collapsed into a crumpled heap, bringing them both to the floor.
September 29th, 2007, 10:15 AM
The evening passed slowly into night. Pamela and Marcus had managed to move Zach to one of the beds and clean his arm up while he was unconscious. She had ripped up a clean towel and wrapped his arm after finding her small first aid kit in Corey's backpack and applying an antiseptic.
She was thankful it had only been a flesh wound that had skimmed across his arm. Marcus had cleaned up the mess of dried blood in the bathroom sink while she had wrapped the wound. Corey had been right at her elbow, watching in fascination.
"He is going to be okay, isn't he Mommy?" Corey's eyes pleaded with her.
"Yeah, Corey, he'll be fine. We just need to let him rest." Pamela glanced at her watch. It was well past Corey's bedtime. She tied off the last strip of raveled towel and then smiled down at her son, "Go get in the other bed. You need to get some sleep."
"But Mommy!" he whined, "Do I have to?"
"Yes sir, you do. Now no more fussing and get in bed."
Pamela went around the room and turned off any of the lamps they didn't need on. The room was plunged into shadows other than the sliver of light coming from the bathroom where the door stood ajar. Across the room, a small lamp in the corner cast dim lighting on a rather out of place large wooden table and two chairs that were situated in front of the dark heavy burgundy curtains.
She tucked Corey in under the covers and placed a soft kiss against his cheek with an 'I love you. Sweet dreams," before slouching into the chair across from Marcus at the table.
Marcus had retrieved his gun from under the mattress and was sitting guard, using the barrel of his gun to pull the curtain slightly back, spying out into the moonlit night. Glancing over at Zach sleeping in the bed beside her she sighed long and hard and then met Marcus's stare.
"So what are we going to do about him?" She could sense Marcus's anger still hidden beneath the surface.
September 29th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Pamela slowly sipped the motel's stale coffee she'd grabbed in the lobby and thought before answering. She'd run away from one stinking man and now she had two more on her plate, reminding her of the sourdough bread recipe she'd made awhile ago. It kept multiplying and multiplying until she grew sick of it and threw it all away. Pamela took another sip and felt she understood why hundred of years ago women had joined the convent in droves .
"I don't know, Marcus," she said, fatigue dripping from her voice. "What do you suggest?"
"Leave him, that's what. He's obviously out for the count. We'll just bundle up little Corey and sneak out of the room."
"I can't do that." Pamela's voice suggested debating was not an issue. "He helped Corey and me by driving us away from Tipton and then by putting himself in danger. And look at where it's gotten him." She pointed to the bed. "He could have been killed and you want me to just leave him?" She shook her head. "What kind of woman do you think I am? What kind of man are you to ask me such a thing?"
Marcus' face reddened, not with shame but anger. "What kind of a man am I? You don't think I've put my life on the line for you, Pam? In case you have forgotten your "till death do us part" husband of yours with the trigger-finger temper still thinks I'm on his side. Not yours. We both know what will happen if he finds out I've been helping you. And our times in the greenhouse.....he'd kill me first and ask questions later."
"Oh, Marcus, I'm sorry." Pamela reached for his hand. "You're right. You've done so much for me. I know that." She sighed. "But you've got to understand that I just can't leave Zach until I know he'll be all right. Do you understand?" She got up, pulled Marcus to his feet and kissed him.
Marcus pulled back and looked into Pamela's eyes as though trying to measure something inside. "Baby, you don't know how I've missed you." He put his arms around her and held her so tight she gasped. He parted her lips open with his tongue, darting it around the familiar warmth. Her soft moans began to excite him and reluctantly, he left their embrace. He stared at Zach and Corey's sleeping bodies. "Want to get another room?" he said with a slight leer.
Pamela laughed, but her body trembled with passion. "Soon, Marcus. We'll have our time." With a shaking hand, she pushed away a lock of hair. "Soon," she repeated.
Suddenly, the theme from the Sopranos filled the room. "My phone," said Marcus. He flipped the lid and stared at Pamela.
September 29th, 2007, 03:26 PM
"Have you found them yet?" Frankie asked, his voice completely distraught.
"Nope, not a sign of them yet." Marcus lied, eyeing Pamela's frightened stare.
"I told you I'd only give you a few days to get her, and you've got nothing? You damn idiot, she's probably in another state by now!"
"Don't worry Frankie, I'm hot on her trail. She won't get away."
"Well she better not get away. Where are you at now?"
"I'm outside Hinesville heading east."
"Well damn Marcus, that's exactly where I am. I knew she'd head to Charleston this way. The dumb broad is so predictable. There's a small hotel just outside of town, meet me there in ten minutes."
Before Marcus could answer, Frankie hung up. "Damn it!" he pulled his gun from the matress. "Get Corey now," he demanded. "Frankie's just outside of town."
Pamela rushed to the bedside and grabbed Corey up in her arms. She followed Marcus to the door, turning around to take one last look at Zach. She frowned.
"I'm sorry Zach," she said with solemn eyes as Marcus pulled her outside and guided her towards his truck.
October 1st, 2007, 06:38 PM
In the distance a door slammed, then a motor started. With much effort, Zach managed to sit up.
They'd left him. In a flash he realized the sounds he heard was them heading out and jumped out of bed. The room spun around for a minute before he could move. He got to the door and watched the taillights of a red pickup speed from the parking lot. Damn, after everything he did for her, she left without a word? He slammed the door and walked, slowly this time, to put on his shoes. He stumbled over something and stubbed his toe. He cursed again. Like he needed a broken toe, too. He reached down and picked up a small object. What the Hell?
"I hate leaving Zach like that," Pamela said. "He deserved a lot better."
Marcus flicked on his left directional and flew into the passing lane. "Listen, Pam. He'd have liked it a lot less if Frankie caught up with him."
Pamela's stomach dropped. "Frankie," she whispered. "Marcus, where are we going anyway? Frankie expects us to meet him soon, doesn't he?"
"Yeah." Marcus lit a cigarette he'd grabbed from his pocket and inhaled deeply. "Sorry, baby. I tried to give them up, but looks like they got the better of me."
"Frankie," she repeated. "I'm getting nervous. What are we going to do? I know he's got his men all over the place."
"Don't worry, I've got it under control." He fumbled around the dashboard. "You've got my phone?"
Marcus checked his pockets without luck. "Oh my God, I must have left the phone back at the motel with..."
"With Zach." Pamela finished.
Zach stared at the cell phone and knew immediately it wasn't Pamela's. Before he got a chance to open it, the theme from "The Sopranos" played and he almost dropped it.
He flipped the phone open and read the name of the incoming caller.
October 2nd, 2007, 07:31 PM
(Why do I enjoy writing from Corey's POV so much? And don't sweat rushing to get the characters to help him if you don't want to. I have a way of getting him out of this bit of trouble.)
Corey lay quietly in the bed. The covers pressed against his body and the darkness of the room pushed against his eyes.
That had been loud. Like really, really loud. In the movies it was loud, but in real life it was really, really loud. And sharp too. Gun shots aren’t just loud, but cracking. It was if something physically hit the inside of his ears. When he closed his eyes, he felt the booming sound inside his body.
And the blood. He knew blood was red. That wasn’t a shock, but he didn’t expect it to be so shiny. The light glistened off it and…his insides started to feel funny. He took in a deep breath to steady himself. Zach would be all right because Momma said he would be, but did all injuries look like that? The skin around Zach’s wound didn’t even look like real skin. Once all the…
Sweat spread across the back of Corey's neck and his stomach felt jittery. His bones shook inside his body and he sat up in bed. The room spun and sweat rolled down his chest.
When was the last time he had his insulin? Dinner, but…did the excitement mess him up? He needed…where was his medicine? He blinked and looked around the room. He knew how to handle this if he could just work through his muddled senses. First, he needed to test his blood sugar. No, first he needed to get his feet on the floor.
His heart pounded in his chest and the few items in the room that reflected the street light started to grow bright.
This was bad.
Putting his feet on the floor, he flicked on the lights. When he stood his head spun and his face tingled. Sitting back on the bed, he decided he should calm himself a bit before trying to walk. Glancing around, he found his bag on the dresser across the room. There was some blood in the carpet between himself and the bag.
Taking to his feet, the room further brightened and his nose went numb. He sat down again and stared at his insulin bag. He needed that insulin. However, every time he stood he felt as if he was going to pass out. Juice. Juice and insulin. That’s what he needed.
Once again, he stood and this time he managed a few steps before his body demanded that he sit. He held his head in his hands and took a few breaths. His fingers shook against his face and his thighs trembled. “Somebody help me.” His voice registered to his ears high and quavering.
Pulling his face from his hands he glared at the bag. It teased him from a distance. He knew there were juice boxes and insulin in there. All he had to do was get to it. The floor lengthened as he stared at the bag.
Wait…what was he doing? He’d sat up for a purpose. Why wasn’t he under the covers? His mind drew a blank as he blinked at his bag.
Slowly thought congealed in his mind. Insulin. He was trying to get his insulin. Oh, but it was terribly far away. All the way…all the way over…over there.
October 4th, 2007, 11:45 PM
Zach stared at the phone and wondered whether to answer it or not. He figured it was a damned if he did and damned if he didn't situation, so he hit the send button and waited.
"Marcus, what the hell's going on? You were supposed to meet at this rathole motel twenty minutes ago. Where are you?"
Good question. Zach lowered his voice a notch and tried to make it sound gravelly. "Beat's me. In the middle of nowhere is my guess."
"You lost again?
Zach put the phone away from his ear to lessen the roar. "Sort of. Maybe I should get one of the GPS things."
"Maybe you should get some brains first," Frankie said. "I'm going to give you another fifteen minutes and then I'm sending Jimmy and his boys out. I hate to do it with Jimmy's temper and all, but I've got to find Pamela and the kid soon or...or...well, I don't have to tell you what will happen, do I?"
Yes, Marcus thought. Tell me. "Not good," he said.
Frankie laughed. "Yeah, not good just about sums it up. Say, what's up with your voice? You sound kinda strange."
Zach manufactured a cough. "Some kind of bug I guess. Frankie, better give me that Rathole's name again."
"Geez, Marcus. You are a piece of work." He sighed. "It's the Sleeptight Motel right off Exit 192." He paused. "South Carolina. You are still in this state, I'm hoping."
Zach snarled at the phone. "Yeah, still here. See you real soon." He punched the end button and snapped the phone shut. No wonder Pamela was running away from this creep.
He put on his boots and winced with pain. The room began to spin and held on to the chair for support.
The phone rang again.
October 5th, 2007, 07:41 AM
The number on the cell wasn't a normal number Marcus had programmed in. Zach wasn't sure, but he'd almost wager a guess that it was a payphone.
"Yeah," he answered.
"Oh so you're up now," the words squawled over the line.
"Where did you take Pamela and Corey, Marcus?" Zach demanded with as much strength as he could muster. Flesh wound or not, his arm was hurting like hell and his head was swimming in the pain.
"That's none of your concern old man," Marcus bit across the line, "Has anyone else called my phone?"
Zach thought twice about telling him anything. If Marcus was working with Frankie Scott, he could be taking Pamela right back to him.
"Why the hell should I trust you? You run off with her and her boy and you're working with Frankie. You're supposed to meet up with him, so why should I tell you anything?"
"Because we were at the hotel I was supposed to meet him at. I thought it better to get her and Corey out of there before he showed up."
Zach glanced over at the bedside hotel phone. "Press "0" to contact Sleeptight Hotel main desk," was scrawled on a piece of paper taped to the table's surface beneath the phone.
Oh geez! Zach thought. Frankie was somewhere just outside. There was no way Marcus would bring Pamela and Corey back here now and yet, what was it Frankie had said? Fifteen minutes and he'd send out Jimmy and the boys?
"You need to leave Pamela and Corey somewhere safe and get back here then. Frankie said you've got fifteen minutes and then he's sending Jimmy and the boys."
Zach heard a muffled curse come bouncing across the line. He held the phone back from his throbbing head a moment and then listened again.
"I've put them up in a room at a different little hotel a few miles from the Sleeptight. I'll head back now. Don't make a move. I'll come get my phone after I talk to Frankie."
Before Zach could say a word, Marcus had hung up. He'd be damned if he'd sit here waiting to bow down to Marcus's demands. He slapped the cell phone closed and threw it on the bed. He had to find Pamela and Corey and get them away from Marcus. Now.
October 5th, 2007, 08:50 AM
(I have checked this thread and checked this thread, but it seems to me as if Corey is still in the room and everyone else is somewhere else. I hope that's the case.)
Every time Corey stood his head spun and his knees acted like they were made of Jell-O. Not the good Jell-O that Mom made either, but that nasty stuff he ate at that place Mom said they were never going back to. Unwilling to risk standing, Corey crawled across the floor.
The carpet in the cheap hotel room felt rough against his skin, but he kept his eyes on his bag. He knew how to handle this. Momma had taught him everything he needed to know. He’d done this plenty of times. Why was this time so hard? Why was it so bad? How come he felt this way?
Not feeling at all like a special agent, tears welled up in Corey’s eyes as he stretched his hand out to the bag. It wasn’t FAIR! Not because he was a special agent, but because…
Corey blinked a few times as his fingers swung short of the bag. He thought about Mom’s words and he remembered all the times his mother told him that it was all right to not like being sick. She’d also told him that it was all right to be a little angry about not being able to enjoy ice cream and all the sweets like other kids. She even told him that it was all right to cry every so often.
So, that’s what Corey did as he crept closer to the bag. He cried. He cried out of frustration and anger. He cried about not being able to enjoy as much ice cream as everyone else. He cried about being sick. And, he also cried for feeling so very rotten right now.
He sniffled and his bottom lip quivered. Yeah, things weren’t looking so good right now. He was away from home which wasn’t so bad, but he’d left a few good toys back there. He was alone in this room and that was a little scary. A smear of blood from the carpet colored his shin and that wasn’t all that nice. But…if he could just reach that bag.
Corey’s fingers trembled when he stretched his hand out. Sitting up on his knees he brushed his fingers against the nylon bag. Why did they have to make dressers so tall? His vision blurred, but he finally snagged one of the straps with his pinky.
Pulling the bag down, he tried to focus and scrambled for his supplies. First he had to put the little thingy in the long stick thing. What did Mom say those were called? Lancers? Lancets? Lances? Yeah, lances like what knights used. Oh! And the stick like thing is just what a knight would need if they had a tiny horse. All right, maybe a tiny knight on teeny-tiny horse.
But…wasn’t Corey tiny? Yeah! He was little! He couldn’t even reach the top of the dresser while on his knees. That HAD to be little. And! He had a lance! So that would…
That would…Yes! That made Corey a knight!
Phooey on being a special agent. Who wants to be a special agent? Girls wanted to kiss James Bond all the time and Corey didn’t want any part of that gross stuff.
Yep, he would be a knight with his lance. No one ever wanted to kiss a knight. They even have metal all over their faces to protect them from girls’ kisses.
He put the “lance” in the long stick thing until it clicked. Momma had always told him to be careful with this next part, he twisted the little circle thing off the end of the “lance.” The metal under the circle was very tiny, but it sure hurt like a big needle. The meager light in the room twinkled off the end of his “lance.” It was almost scary, but knights don’t get scared. So, that made it not scary and if Corey could get his pounding heart to understand what his mind knew, he wouldn’t feel scared.
He pulled on the back end of the stick thing until it clicked. Wait…he needed to do something else. He skipped a step. The strips. He needed to get one of those ready. Momma always told him he needed to check the numbers before he gave himself more medicine, because if he took more medicine and didn’t need it then he’d be really, really sick. Fumbling though the bag, he found the little canister of strips and the machine that gave him the numbers. The machine looked just like a shield! A small shield which was perfect for a small knight with a tiny lance!
He had no idea that being diabetic meant he was knight. Were all knights diabetic? That’s probably why they became knights. They learned how to handle lances and shields when they were little.
After pushing one of the strips into the “shield”, he heard the machine beep. Now came the bad part. Corey held middle finger against his thigh and pressed the end of the stick to his skin. Closing his eyes and wincing, he pushed the button.
A sharp snap of pain raced through his finger and more tears formed in his eyes. The tears were okay. Knights could cry. No one could see a knight cry behind all that metal. With his finger still stinging, he set the stick aside and caught some of his blood on the strip just like Momma, the doctor and the nurses had showed him. The machine counted down and beeped again.
Corey looked at the number and fished through his bag looking for the list Momma had made him. That number fell on the low side of the list. Now, what did he need to do when his blood sugar was low?
Was that a shot and a package of crackers or was that some juice?
This was really important. If he made the wrong choice, he’d make himself sicker. Corey tried to think his way through this very important decision. Normally, he knew these things, but his mind didn’t seem to be working that well right now. That’s probably something knights dealt with a lot considering they’re always getting hit in the head.
Why was he on insulin? Because he was diabetic. What did that mean? That meant his blood was too sweet and that’s why Momma liked to kiss him so much. Too sweet meant that his…high. The sweetness of his blood was normally too high and that’s why he needed his shots. Since it was normally too high and that meant a shot, then low must mean juice.
Once again he returned to the bag and pulled out a couple of juice boxes. He stabbed the little straw into the juice box, took in a deep breath and sucked the tart grape juice down quicker than he really should have. With that juice box a bit crumbled, he decided to drink another one…this time more slowly.
Sipping his apple juice, he leaned back against the dresser and stared at the blood on his shin. His heart didn’t pound so much anymore. His hands didn’t feel so shaky. With each sip, he felt better and better. Yeah, he had to be knight. He saved himself and that’s just one of the many things knights do. He even had blood on his leg and knights always have blood on them.
Still, that gunshot still cracked in his ears and he knew the hotel room was supposed to be quiet. Maybe Sir Corey should ask Momma about that.
October 5th, 2007, 07:59 PM
"Corey!" Pamela ran into the room and picked up her little boy. "Are you okay?" She looked at the two small juice cartons on the floor. "Were you sick?"
Corey shook his head. "No." But he looked down at his sneakers, noticing one had gotten untied. "Well, kinda, I guess. But I got my numbers like you showed me and drank some juice." He lifted his chin in the air, a characteristic he inherited from his father. "Two."
Pamela hugged him tight to her chest. "My big man."
"Where'd you go, Momma? I was scared." He tilted his chin again. "Not for me because I'm brave, like a knight. I thought maybe Daddy came and...." He burst into tears. "I'm sorry. I want to be brave for you, Momma."
"Oh, sweetheart, you are the bravest boy in the world." She carried him to one of the double beds and put him down gently, forcing her own tears not to flow. When would this nightmare end for her baby, for her? A child should not have to deal with so much fear in his life. This was all her fault. Every bit of it. If she hadn't been so blinded by Frankie's good looks and the importance of the Scott name, she might have seen what really lay behind the polished mahogony doors and beneath the cherry floorboards. She would have run and not looked back.
"Momma went to get some food for you, baby. Marcus was supposed to be watching you. I'm sorry you were alone. It won't happen again, I promise."
Suddenly, headlights glared in the window and loud shouts ripped through the previously quiet motel grounds.
"Momma!" Corey's eyes widened in his pale face.
"Stay there and don't move, Corey." She ran to the window and pulled back the drapes just enough to see. "Oh, God. No. NO!"
October 6th, 2007, 07:35 PM
Pamela clamped one hand over her mouth and motioned for Corey to stay quietly in the bed. She peered out into the parking lot. The scene played out before her eyes like a horrible action movie.
She made out the hazy silohette of Marcus being dragged from bed of a pickup truck she recognized as Jimmy's, not more than five or ten feet away from the door of the hotel room. He was dropped to the asphalt, apparently having taken a beating before arriving back at this spot. She felt her heart leap into her throat and stick there, fear racing along the treadmill of her spine, rippling through her entire being.
"Where the hell is she and the boy?" Jimmy's voice boomed through the thin walls of the building. In the dim parking lot lamplight she only barely made out the shake of Marcus's head in denial, followed by, "So the cat has your tongue now, huh? Okay boys, do your thing."
From the shadows several other men appeared. The last thing Pamela saw before turning away was Marcus's distant glance in her direction, just before a baseball bat came down across his back.
October 7th, 2007, 06:51 PM
It had gone beyond pain. As if in slow motion, Marcus watched Jimmy's kid brother, Tommy lift the bat and began to swing it as though he was planning to make a homer in Turner Field.
"Stop, for God's sakes," Jimmy cried. "Frankie doesn't want him dead." He took off his cap, combed back a mop of red hair with his fingertips and stuck the hat back on. "At least yet." A couple of teenaged boys started to walk over, but after seeing Marcus' body on the pavement, hurriedly left the scene. "Last thing Frankie wants is police getting involved, you morons. Let's get him in my truck before someone calls the cops on us."
"But you said...."
"Shut up, Tommy and listen to what I'm saying now."
Pamela carefully let the drapes fall back. She had to get out of here. Now. If she'd ever had a doubt whether Frankie would actually kill her if she really lef him, it was gone now.
"Listen, baby," she said, grabbing the insulin and shoving it into his backpack. "I don't like this place any more. We're going somewhere else now. Okay?"
"Somewhere with no bad guys?" Corey's voice wobbled with tired hope.
"Not a single one." She grabbed their belongings and picked up Corey, thanking God she'd insisted on two adjoining rooms. She knew it would be risky to run out but what choice did she have? The odds were slim that she wouldn't be spotted by one of Jimmy's boys as she darted out of the room but how long would it be before they began banging on doors?
She took a deep breath as she opened the door a fraction and peered out. It was quiet. Too quiet. She hitched up Corey on her hip. "Ready, big man?" she whispered.
"Ready," he whispered.
Pamela threw open the door and started for the motel office when a bright yellow sedan pulled up in front of her. She gasped and tightened her hold on Corey.
The passenger window slid down. "You the lady wanting a cab to the airport?"
"Cab?" A taxi! Pamela's legs almost gave way from sheer relief. "Yes!Yes, that's me." Never had she moved so fast. Once inside with Corey, she slid herself out of sight. "Please hurry."
The driver pushed down the meter and sighed. "Everyone's in a rush," but he peeled out of the lot. "Where you heading, if you don't mind me asking?"
Pamela looked behind her. Nobody followed them out. "Sorry," she said. "What did you say?"
"He said where are we going, Momma?" Corey asked. "I want to know, too."
She continued looking for a while before answering, then turned around. Where are you going? she asked herself. And then it came to her. "Family. We're visiting family."
"Daddy?" Corey's voice faltered.
"No, honey." Pamela ruffled his sandy hair. "A little town by the ocean," she whispered in his ear. "It's called Rockport and it's near a big city called Boston. But shh, it's a secret."
"I like the ocean," he said softly. He smiled and for the first time in what felt like forever, she saw it was a genuine smile.
She smiled back and thought of the surprised look on Lacey's face when she would open the door and greet her uninvited guests.
Twenty years had gone by since she'd been in Rockport. Twenty years since she'd seen or spoke to her sister.
October 10th, 2007, 09:27 AM
Zach sat in his Miata, the engine purring, watching the motel from a parking lot across the street. He had watched the beating Marcus took, watched as they loaded him back into the truck and drove away. Only moments later he spotted Pamela, with Corey in tow, dart out of one of the rooms and hop in a cab.
Whether Marcus was trustworthy was yet to be discovered, but he was in no shape now to protect Pamela and Corey, even if he could get away from "Jimmy and the boys."
Just why are you willing to follow this woman and her child? They have more trouble after them than you do, Zach chastised himself as he pulled out onto the road and followed several car lengths behind the bright yellow cab.
He could leave this town and head south and never look back. His brain kept telling him it's what he should do. It wasn't like Marcus could track him down for the money he owed him. He could be long gone before it ever crossed Marcus's mind again. The man had enough trouble to deal with at the moment.
Instead, Zach stared straight ahead, watching as the red taillights lit up. The cab slowed and signaled at the intersection.
Zach knew he had no reason to tail Pamela and Corey. He had no connections to her, no reason to look out for her. She'd left with Marcus and Zach should've just let sleeping dogs lie. She wasn't his problem anymore, but a warning in his gut told him to follow, to watch out for her and protect her if he was able.
Something about that cab pulling up at the motel just didn't fit. Pamela wouldn't have called a cab service herself and yet she'd gotten in quickly, almost as if surprised by the unexpected blessing. Had Frankie set that up to lure her out?
October 10th, 2007, 10:20 AM
Pamela leaned back against the cab's seat and gently stroked Corey's head, listening to the even sound of his soft snores. She closed her eyes. Running away again. And again. Would it ever stop?
She sighed. Not till she was free of her husband.
Running was what she'd been doing ever since she married Frankie. They were barely off their honeymoon when he showed his true colors. True colors that were reflected on her body the next day as angry bruises. Only once had he slapped her hard across the face and when the telltale welt appeared, he soon realized that he couldn't lie away visible marks. After that, even in the midst of seemingly uncontrable rages, he had the foresight to avoid her face. Nobody would know that Frankie Scott, Tipton's respectable citizen, was a wifebeater.
Amongst other things.
"Uh, ma'am." The taxi driver was pulling off the highway into a gas station.
"What's wrong?" Pamela's heart began racing.
"I know you're in a hurry and all, but I've got to make this stop."
"Stop? No, you've got to keep going."
He didn't listen and Pamela was on full alert now. "No choice. I'm feeling something funny with the back tire." He turned off the meter, but left the engine running. "Not charging you, don't worry."
He left the cab quickly. However, instead of heading toward the back of the cab, he vanished into the convenience store close to the pumps. Maybe he's using the men's room first, she reasoned.
Corey's head popped up. "What's happening? Are we there yet?" He looked out the back window. "Hey, there's Daddy."
Pamela's head whipped around. It was true. Frankie, the confidant bastard, swaggered over to the cab to reclaim what she knew he thought was rightfully his. Well, she'd see about that.
Without a second's hesitation, she got out of the back, flew into the driver's seat, put the car into gear and slammed her foot on the gas pedal.
"Momma?" Corey cried.
"It's okay. Mommy has to drive now. Keep your seat belt on."
She sped down the highway, glancing often in the rearview mirrow. Frankie was hot on her trail. How long could she keep this up? Suddenly, the cab's CB began squawking. "Hey, lady, you going to a fire or something?"
Pamela stared at the CB radio and inspiration hit her as hard as one of Frankie's hands. She picked up the mike. "Listen, I need help. See that black pickup behind me. He's after me and I know he'll kill me and my little boy. Please help me."
There was a silence that only lasted a few seconds but lingered like hours for Pamela. "You got some Rescue Rangers on hand, lady. Don't worry."
Pamela listened as he talked to the other truckers out there, telling them what to do. Would it work?
October 12th, 2007, 05:14 PM
Marcus's head was spinning in pain and his back was none the better as he was jostled around. He was still in the back of the pickup truck and it was still in motion.
The ache in his back was searing like it was on fire, but none of that mattered when all his thoughts remained on Pamela and Corey still back there at the motel, if Frankie hadn't gotten to them already. He wasn't sure how he'd get out of this. Pamela was like his drug and he'd have done what he could to hide her and protect her from Frankie and his goons.
It wasn't like Marcus wasn't aware of the power and authority Frankie had in Tipton. He worked for the man, for crying out loud. He knew what kind of underhanded dealings there were and he'd seen Frankie dispose of enough backstabbing "employees" enough over the years.
Marcus didn't want to be one of them, but he was the fool who had fallen in love with Frankie's wife and was the one trying to help her escape the monster Frankie Scott really was underneath his polished veneer.
How could he have not fallen for her? She was beautiful and sweet and loving. And Frankie didn't deserve her. For a man who prided himself on being such an upstanding citizen, he had no regard for the woman in his life. Marcus got tired of seeing and overhearing their arguments and he had befriended her when she had no one else.
Marcus wasn't sure where they were taking him and he wasn't looking forward to another beating, but no matter what, he'd never tell them where she was or lead them to her. Even if it meant dying to save her life and the life of her child.
October 13th, 2007, 11:39 AM
</O:pPamela stomped on the gas pedal and snaked her way into the space the truckers had allowed. As soon as she made it in front of the truck on the right with the bright blue cab, she sped up to further distance herself from Frankie. Now a second truck drove beside the blue truck and blocked her husband's pickup.
Tires squealed, brakes screamed, air horns sounded. "Momma!" Corey yelled. "What's happening?"
Pamela glanced behind her. At least six semi's smothered the interstate. A flash of red down the embankment...Frankie's pickup. Her knees buckled with relief and she had to will her legs to stop shaking so she could drive to the Truck Stop coming up on the left.
"It's okay. Couple of trucks having some fun. We're okay." She pulled into the Truck Stop and as told by the blue truck's driver, headed for the pumps behind the restaurant. "Now we need to find...." A man stood in front of a moving truck and waved a cowboy hat in the air. "A cowboy! Must be him." She pulled over and rolled her window down. "Jake?"
"At your service, ma'am. Just get your car over here."
Pamela held Corey tight against her. They'd made it. She'd finally left Tipton and her seven-year nightmare behind.
"How high are we, Momma? I can't see anything out the window. Are we really in the air?"
Pamela nodded. "We're so high even the birds can't reach us." Even Frankie can't reach us.
"I want to be a truck driver just like Jake when I grow up. Can we ride in a big truck again, Momma? That was a lot of fun."
"Sure you can, honey." A lot of fun was not how Pamela would describe her harried ride to the airport in Jake's moving van.
When she pulled behind Jake's truck, another trucker helped her and Corey out and drove it onto the ramp of his huge car-transport truck. Jake got her and Corey into his cab, took them not only to the airport but also right to the ticket counter, not leaving until the plane was in the air.
"Yeah, baby, Pamela said, tearing open the sandwiches she bought at airport. She gave the ham and cheese to Corey. "A truck driver is a very good thing to be." She bit hungrily into her roast beef and wondered when food had ever tasted this good.
"We gonna be at the ocean soon?"
"A little while, Corey. Just a little while." Pamela wiped away a mustard smear on his chin and they finished eating in tired silence. Corey fell asleep with half a sandwich in his little hand. She quietly pried it from his hands and rested him back against the seat.
After finishing her second glass of wine, she looked at her watch. Pamela yawned. Lacey and Rockport were only hours away. Freedom was only hours away.
Frankie's leering face loomed before her and she mentally pushed it away. You'll never hurt me or my son ever again, you bastard.
Marcus. She thought of their long, lingering kisses in the greenhouse and his gentle hands, so gentle after Frankie's hard slaps. Although her body wanted him desperately and cried out to be touched, they'd never made love. Was it fear of Frankie and what he'd do? Or perhaps some moral boundary she didn't want to cross? Now she might never see him again. Tears threatened to spill out, but she knew if she allowed herself the luxury of one tear, an unstoppable river might follow.
Suddenly, Zach's amazing blue eyes glimmered before her. Tears blurred her vision and she closed her eyes, wishing sleep to sweep her far away from reality.
he'd never see Zach again either. she choked back a sob. As much as she cared for Marcus, how could she deny that instant attraction she'd felt for Zach? With Marcus she'd felt safe and their love had grown slowly through the years, although she'd often questioned whether it was love or security she truly felt.
But Zach. It was different. She thought of his lips on her, his body close to her, underneath her, on top of her. Pamela sighed softly and shook her head, trying to erase useless fantasies. But her senses were on high alert, fully aroused. Electric pulses raced through every pore, every strand of hair in her body. She knew if she'd been with Zach in the greenhouse, it would not have mattered if Frankie discovered them or not. It would not have mattered if she'd broken any archaic moral code. She would have lain down with Zach among the exotic orchids, the everyday roses, and the untamed wildflowers in the greenhouse. Not a single pane of glass could escape the steam of their passion. And when they'd finished....
"Wake up, sleepyhead."
Pamela opened her eyes and blinked. "But..you...how can..." She rubbed her eyes. "Am I still dreaming? I must be dreaming."
Zach grinned. "Dreaming? Judging by the flush on your face and the way you've been calling out my name, actually moaning out my name," he laughed. "Well, I have to say that you've been having one hell of a dream." He sat down on the empty seat beside her. "And one that I'd very much like to join in."
October 14th, 2007, 10:08 AM
"Nevermind that," Pamela blushed, "How did you find us? How's your arm?"
Zach watched her face crease in relief and concern for his well being.
"Been following you since you left the motel in that cab. If it hadn't been for your husband being at that gas station and you taking off like a bat out of hell in the cab, we'd have already crossed paths again by now. My arm's fine. What happened to your buddy Marcus?"
"Oh it was awful. Frankie's goons have him. I feel awful. He didn't give me up to them, but he's taken a pretty severe beating for keeping his mouth shut."
Zach put his arm around Pamela's shoulders and held her close while she wept into his shirt. It wasn't the time to think about how warm and soft she felt in his arms. She'd been through so much already, but it wasn't over and Zach knew it. So long as she had to run from Frankie and keep looking over her shoulder, it would never be over.
Oh, yeah, he'd seen Frankie's truck run off the road by those truckers who were doing their damnedest to make sure Pamela and Corey got away safely. He wasn't sure how she'd managed that, but it mattered not at the moment. It had been a stroke of luck what ever it was.
Pamela's hand crept across his shirt front. It was a light weight, but when it came to rest over his heart, Zach caught his breath. Maybe he hadn't imagined their attraction after all. This woman was in need. In need of protecting and in need of security. He wanted her, but that would have to wait until this was over.
They were headed for Rockport, which was not where he'd intended to go, but he'd sworn to himself to look out for her and her son. There was no turning back now. He wanted this woman, wanted her soft lips kissing his, her hands on him, as they were now while he held her close to comfort her.
Whatever was in Rockport was something Pamela must hold as salvation and hope of escape. For the time being, he'd simply hold her.
"Just try to get some rest," Zach whispered in her ear, "Things are going to be fine, but if you start having dreams like you were again, I can't be held responsible for what I might do."
Zach grinned when she looked up wide-eyed in surprise. It was all he could do to restrain himself from kissing her right then and there on her full little pouty lips. Instead he kissed her forehead and reminded her again to get some rest. The way things were going, he had a feeling they were going to need to be rested up as much as possible.
October 19th, 2007, 10:36 AM
"I can smell the ocean. Are we there yet?"
" Any minute now and you'll actually see the ocean, baby." Pamela hugged Corey. The familiar scent of the seaside she'd grown up with was comforting and for the first time in what felt like forever, she felt safe. She glanced at Zach. Although he added to her feeling of security, he also added to her discomfort at this unexpected visit to Lacey.
As if reading her mind, Zach asked, "Do you know if your sister even still lives at the same house? I mean, from what you said you hadn't spoken with her in years. Why didn't you give her a call first? She could have moved."
"Lacey? Move?" Pamela laughed. "Never in a million years would she live anywhere else. She was born at 42 Primrose Lane and she plans on dying there." As soon as the words left her mouth, fear crept inside Pamela's gut and nestled in. Die? She'd never once considered that something could have happened to Lacey. Lacey was indestructable, unchangeable, forever, like the ocean. Nothing could happen to her. But if.... Now every kind of accident, disease or misfortune presented itself to Pamela. And if anything had happened, nobody could contact Pamela because she'd just disappeared off the face of the earth. "Zach, you're right. I just assumed..."
Zach shook his head. "Assume. You know what they say about people who assume."
"Never mind. We're almost there."
The cab drove along the coastal road and pulled into a long driveway. Zach stared at a large, brown shingled house that overlooked the ocean. "Primrose Lane? I'd been expecting a small cape. This place looks like the Hilton."
Corey ran out of the cab the second it stopped. Pamela tried to catch him but he'd already flown up the steps of the wrap-around porch and made it to the front door. "Auntie Lacey! We're here. We're here!"
The door opened. Pamela held her breath and prayed she'd been right about Lacey still living there.
"Well, well, look at what the cat's dragged in. I've been wondering when I'd find you on my doorstep. And who is this little creature calling me auntie?"
Pamela finally exhaled. It was Lacey all right.
Lacey looked beyond Pamela and Corey. "And who the Hell is this?"
Zach stopped in his tracks, looking first at the woman at the door and back at Pamela. Was this a reflection or...."Twins! You never said she was your twin."
Lacey stepped out the front door and laughed without smiling. "Mister, if I know my sister, this is just the beginning of what you don't know."
October 20th, 2007, 09:19 AM
"How the hell could you bumbling fools let her get away?" Frankie shouted, "Where were you when I got cut off by those freaking truckers?"
He paced the floor in the middle of the hotel room Pamela and Corey had last been in, his anger lasered in on Jimmy and Tommy and a couple of the other guys. Marcus sat on the end of the bed feeling swollen and wiped out from the beatings, but still living. He counted himself lucky.
"But Frankie, we were taking care of what you told us to," Tommy's voice was whiny as his gaze came to rest on Marcus.
"Yeah, well kicking my ass didn't get her back, now did it?" Marcus shot toward the young punk. He was smug in his remark, knowing it came across as a double edged sword.
When Frankie had allowed Jimmy to bring Tommy into the business, he knew there'd be trouble. Marcus had once upon a time had a affair with Jimmy's girlfriend. She eventually left him for Marcus, but in the end it hadn't worked out. Jimmy hadn't forgotten or forgiven Marcus for stealing his woman. It was no wonder Jimmy disregarded the plans and took his frustrations out on beating Marcus up.
"That's enough Marcus," Frankie spit, "What matters now is finding Pamela and Corey. I have to get them back. They belong to me and I'm not losing them."
Marcus bit his lip. He didn't like working for Frankie anymore. It ate away at him that Pamela had slipped through his fingers, almost as much as it angered Frankie that she had escaped him yet again.
He thought back to all their times in the greenhouse. She'd been willing in his arms, but only to a point. She'd never break her vows, she'd told him, even though Frankie treated her like crap. That was something Marcus couldn't understand. How could she hate the man so much and still feel she owed him her loyalty until she was able to be free of him?
Where would she have gone? Marcus wondered while Frankie talked to the boys and tried to figure out leads to find Pamela and Corey. She hadn't talked much about her family, but then it dawned on him. She had once mentioned her sister. Her twin.
"She's headed to Rockport," Marcus said, before realizing he'd spoken it outloud.
October 20th, 2007, 11:30 AM
Corey stood on the porch wtih his mouth open, looking back at his mother and then at his aunt. "You're both the same."
Lacey laughed. "Little man, I can assure you we are not remotely the same." She kneeled down so she was at eye level with him. "You seem to know my name, but who are you?"
"I'm Corey. I'm your nephew, Auntie! I never had an aunt, just lots of uncles," Corey said. "And I know you haven't seen Momma since you were little and you used to jump over the waves and dig in the sand for clams and..and..you used to laugh and laugh."
"Laugh?" Lacey stood up and met her sister's eyes. "Back then we had things to laugh about, little man. Life got more complicated. Twenty years more complicated, Pamela." She walked past the uninvited assembled group on her porch and leaned against the porch railing . "Twenty years. Twenty years." She banged her fist against the railing. "Not one word. Not one lousy postcard. Nothing, Pamela. Nothing. Until I finally hired a dectective about seven or eight years ago, I didn't know anything. He found out you were living in some podunk town in Georgia." Her voice quaked. "I thought you were dead." Tears she thought long dried up stung her eyes and she wiped them away quickly.
"Lacey, I'm sorry," Pamela ran over to her sister and threw her arms around her. "But my letters, you never got my letters?"
"What letters? No, like I said, I never got anything from you."
Pamela's arms dropped to her side. All these years she'd thought Lacey didn't want anything to do with her, all those wasted years away from her once best friend, her only sister, the other part of her soul.
"Momma, you okay?" Corey looked worried. "Are those happy tears?"
All she could do was nod.
"Hey, Corey, why don't you and me go check out that ocean and see what we can find?"
"Like a starfish?"
"Yeah, just like a starfish. We'll just be out back," Zach said. "You two obviously have twenty years catching up to do. Corey will be okay, Pam, don't worry."
When they were out of sight, Pamela took her sister's hand and sat her on the weathered wicker chair on the porch and sat across from her. "You know I had to leave. I had no choice. You know that."
Lacey could only nod again. "But I don't understand why you didn't try harder to contact me."
"I did try, Lacey. I started writing you letters. They never came back with a wrong address stamp so I thought you were still angry with me. And then finally, I did get that one letter from you."
"What are you talking about?"
The years of separation piled before Pamela and flooded her eyes with tears. "The letter that said stop writing me. I don't ever want to hear from you again. So I stopped."
Lacey shook her head. "I don't understand any of this. When I hired that detective he said he told you I'd been trying to reach you and for you to call me or write me or see me. Anything. Anything at all, Pamela. And then he sent me your fax....a fax, for God's sake, you couldn't even bother to call or write yourself....and it said, leave me alone. That you had a new life, a good life and you didn't want anything to do with me ever."
"Lacey, it's not true. I never said that and I never talked to any detective. What was his name anyway?"
Laughter from Corey and Zach rose in the air and carried itself to the sisters, but they swept it away like a pesky insect.
"Marcus." Lacey said. "His name is Marcus."
October 22nd, 2007, 10:16 AM
"Marcus Landers?" Pamela asked, hoping beyond hope that it wasn't.
"Yeah, how did you know that?" Lacey asked, looking as surprised as Pamela felt.
"He works for Frankie, but he was trying to help me leave. It can't be the same Marcus," Pamela shook her head in disbelief, stood and paced the length of the porch, "He wouldn't have kept me from you. He just wouldn't have."
"What do you mean? Are you involved with him? Or is it this other guy?" Lacey nodded toward the beach and the sound of Corey and Zach chasing each other along the sandy coastline.
"Let's just say I got close to Marcus while Frankie was busy or after Frankie had taken his anger out on me time after time. Zach on the other hand, he's been a great help to me and Corey. He's done his best to protect us, even from Marcus. I'm not sure who I trust anymore. I trust Zach, a stranger, a more than I trust the man I've known for several years."
Pamela took a seat next to Lacey again and recounted everything that had happened since she'd been gone. Everything but her new feelings for Zach, but she didn't have to say anything.
"So this one? Are you involved with him?" Lacey gave her sister a knowing smile, a smile Pamela had missed all these years.
"No, I'm not," she sighed, "I'm more concerned about keeping Corey safe as well as myself and Zach right now. Zach is putting himself on the line to be there for us and he doesn't have to. I'm indebted to him for his help."
"Indebted? Sounds like more than that to me. I just still can't believe that you trusted this Marcus guy. If he purposely kept us apart when we both were trying to reach each other, then what does that say about him? And it really makes me wonder now whether he's a real detective, or if he was just following orders from someone else to keep us apart."
"You mean Frankie? It's possible, but I don't know Lace, I just don't know."
October 23rd, 2007, 05:10 PM
"Rockport?" Frankie threw down his cigarette. "Rockport. Rockport." Smoke billowed out of his mouth like a dragon. He snapped his fingers. "Near Boston. She has family there, I think. Obviously, she's confied in you. So what's the story?"
This mess was only getting worse. If he'd have kept his mouth shut, he could have just gone up to Rockport himself and taken care of things. "An aunt somebody. She mentioned her a couple of times. You know her parents are dead."
"Yeah, and she's an only child. That's why she wanted kids right away." Frankie began pacing. "So you got an address or a name or something. You want the boys to take care of it or..."
Marcus shook his head. "No. I'll get right on it. If I leave right away and drive straight through I can be there tomorrow."
Frankie scratched the back of his neck. "Tomorrow? Hmm, maybe you'd better take Tommy with you. I don't like the idea of my wife leaving the way she did. She knows too much about the family."
"I don't know, Frankie. There's a lot of secrets buried pretty deep. She's never mentioned anything to me. Maybe cutting her loose is the best thing for everyone."
"I want that bitch and I want her yesterday, understand?" Frankie stuck his face inches from Marcus. "If you can't hand it, then maybe Tommy's my man."
"Tommy 's nobody's man, Frankie. He almost killed me for the pure enjoyment of it. He's a loose canon and he wouldn't be in Tipton County anymore with the cops in his back pocket. He stared into Frankie's face, now mottled with fury. "I'll do better myself. Pamela trusts me."
Frankie laughed, amazing Marcus again with the way he could switch moods in a flash. "Yeah, I guess she does, doesn't she? Okay, get on the road. Call me when you've got something to say."
Marcus retrieved his stuff from the motel room, threw it in his pickup and headed north on I-95. He'd been playing a dangerous game for years with Pamela, Frankie and Lacey and he didn't see an easy way out of this. Someone was going to get hurt.
And secrets? He couldn't even begin to count up the secrets that snaked into everyone's lives.
Yeah, someone was going to get hurt.
October 26th, 2007, 08:04 AM
Zach watched precariously from his spot on the beach that allowed him a visual of Pamela and Lacey on the porch. Their irritation seemed to have disipated into laughter and smiles.
He couldn't believe what carbon copies they were of each other, though Pamela's hair flowed down her back, the sides tucked back behind her ears, while Lacey had hers pulled back in a neat, flawless french braid, not one strand out of place. For as much as they looked the same, they also had very different styles.
"Come on Zach, we need to find some seashells," Corey hollered over the roar of the waves. With resignation, Zach glanced once more toward the twin sitters and then followed Corey down the shoreline.
His gut told him the troubles weren't over and he hated to take his eyes off Pamela, but she and her sister needed time to talk. He was sure they had a lot to say after so many years apart.
Still, there was something in the air that set off sparks of fear that Frankie or Marcus would come after her if they knew about her family here. How did a woman escape a mad man and live to tell the tale?
The ocean swelled and slapped the sand. It roared in Zach's ears, but even over it, he heard a voice calling his name.
When he turned, Pamela was standing atop the hill, hands cupped over her mouth when he heard her call out again.
"Come on Corey," Zach hollered, "Your mom's calling for us."
October 26th, 2007, 09:37 AM
"Momma," Corey panted up the front steps and leaped into his mother's eyes. Eyes of a happy six year old without life and death worries, thought Pamela. Normal, happy eyes on her baby that she wouldn't trade for a million dollars.
"Corey, I think you've get every bit of the beach on you. Let's shake it off before you come inside Aunt Lacey's nice house."
Zach leaned against a porch pillar and studied this family of strangers, wondering exactly why they were beginning to feel more like family to him. He'd been a loner all his life, moving from state to state, from woman to woman and loving the excitement of change. But for the first time he saw another life for him. The same woman to come home to, children, and living in the same town where people knew who you were. And liked you.
Lacey's eyes left her sister and nephew and landed on the tall man with the bluest eyes she'd ever seen. What was his story? She almost smiled. Hell, stories! What was anybody's story? Pamela was running from something or someone and the tremors in her hand when they'd touched was raw fear that had something to do with Marcus and some scumbag husband she'd hooked up with. She'd seen that same fear in the little boy's when he'd first arrived, too. She sighed. This was going to be a long night.
"Let's get inside and get you to your rooms. Anybody hungry?"
"Me!" yelled Corey. "Got any PB and J?"
"PB and J?"
"Peanut butter and jelley," Pamela said. "Listen, Lacey. We've got lots to talk about. I can't imagine where to begin, but I don't want to barge in and..."
"Too late for that," Lacey said. She opened the door wide and whisked everyone inside. Zach stepped away. She tilted her head. "Coming?"
Zach put up hs hands. "Hey, maybe I should find a room someplace. After twenty years you two have plenty to talk about that has nothing to do with me."
Lacey grabbed his hand and pulled him inside. As her skin touched his, an electric current pulsed through her. She dropped his arm quickly. But a heady scent of musk surrounded him like an aura and she backed away. He belongs to Pamela. Don't make the same mistake twice. She took a deep breath and composed herself. "Let's go find your room, Corey."
Corey reached up and took his aunt's hand. "Did you lose it?"
Everyone laughed and an almost visible release of tension left their bodies, if only for a moment, and they climbed the winding staircase.
October 27th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Marcus sat in his parked car and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He glanced across the street at the large beautiful house, the sun coming up behind it, over the sea. All seemed quiet in the neighborhood, not a stirring of anyone coming or going.
Marcus wasn't sure how he was going to get Pamela and Corey without having to face Lacey again. He was sure by now, if Pamela and Lacey had spoken, Pamela knew he was the "detective" Lacey had dealt with to find her twin. But has Pamela even run to Lacey? His stake-out was the only way to find out.
He knew he'd done wrong those few years ago. Both women were trying to find each other and get back in contact, but he had already fallen in love with Pamela by the time he found out her sister was looking for her. If Pamela had known her sister was looking for her, she would've run long before now. She would've come home and he would've never seen her again. He wasn't going to stand for that.
Besides, Frankie would've found out. Frankie would have tracked her himself and that would've put her and her sister both in danger.
The Scotts were dangerous. And most anyone else associated with them. Marcus rubbed his cheekbone where the bruising was more prominent since his beating the night before. He cursed under his breath and tried to wrack his brain for ideas.
He knew he couldn't just walk up to the front door and ask for Pamela. But how would he get to her and take her away from this place without stirring up a ruckus?
October 27th, 2007, 07:02 PM
Zach pushed his chair away from the table and moaned. "Please don't tempt me. Any more or I'll die.
Lacey laughed. "But what a way to go! Surely a big guy like you can handle just a little more."
He threw his napkin on the table. "Call me a girly man then, but I couldn't get in one more morsel. I'd explode for sure."
Pamela looked up from her plate, glanced quickly at Zach and managed a weak smile for her sister. "Supper was fantastic. You shouldn't have gone through all that trouble though."
"Yeah, I was expecting JB and P." Zach winked at Corey.
"No, it's PB and J, silly." Corey laughed at Zach's joke the way only a six year could. His laughs turned into hiccups. "PB..B..and J!" More laughter and hiccups.
"Seriously, Lacey, how'd you manage to get this feast...lobster, fresh bread, asparagus I know you just picked from your garden and this killer chocolate cake. We weren't even expected. What happens when you actually plan something?"
"Stick around and you'll find out tomorrow."
Pamela reached for her wine glass, but knocked it off the table instead. Zach caught it before it hit the floor. "Sorry, I'm the clumsy one in the family."
"Pammy, are you feeling okay? You've been playing with that same piece of lobster for ten minutes."
"Just tired, that's all."
Lacey took a hard look at her sister. "No, you're exhausted." She got up and took her sister's hand. "Let's get you out of those clothes and into bed."
My sentiments exactly, Zach thought. But out loud, "You do look pretty beat. Why don't you two go upstairs and us guys will clear up these dishes. You ready for this, Corey?"
"Momma says I'm a good helper."
"You've got a pretty good looking guy there, Pammy and one who isn't afraid of the kitchen. Don't let this one get away." Pamela's face grew pale. Connor. Oh God, why don't I think before opening my big mouth?
Pamela slipped her hand out of her sister's grasp. "I'm fine, really, Lacey. I can get myself upstairs. See you in the morning." She vanished from the kitchen like a ghost.
Zach picked up a stack of dishes and tried to ignore the undertow of their history he'd just glimpsed. "Hey, Corey, think you can go up to your room and get those shells we found? I'll bet your aunt would like to put them in a bowl to decorate the kitchen."
"Sure, don't finish the dishes without me though." He ran out of the room.
Zach turned back to Lacey. "Look, maybe it's better if I get a motel. You two need some time together and I'm sure that..."
"No." Lacey threw a dishtowel over her shoulder. "It would be worse, believe me. Having you here helps me like you couldn't imagine." She wiped away a stray tear. "It's so complicated, you know." She shook he head. "Of course, you don't know." Suddenly the tears she'd kept inside for years flooded out like a burst dam.
Zach put his arms around her. "No, I don't know your past, Lacey. But it's pretty easy to see how much you two love each other. You'll work it out. Give it some time."
"Lacey, I didn't mean to..." Pamela walked half way into the kitchen and froze. "Again?"
"No, Pammy. It's not what it looks like."
Pamela stared at her sister. "It never is." She ran out of the room and out the front door.
October 28th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Pamela practically tripped down the steps toward the sidewalk, her eyes blurred with tears. Instead she changed her mind and headed toward the sea. It was so dark outside now that she could barely see in front of her, but for the moonlight that lit her way.
What was Lacey doing? And why was Pamela so angry anyway? Zach wasn't her man. Hell, she was still technically Frankie's wife, Frankie's property.
Then why did it sting so much when she saw Zach's arms around Lacey?
Her memories of finding Lacey in Conner's arms slashed through her mind as the ocean roared in her ears, drowning out everything else. The wind swirled her hair around her shoulders. Never in her life had she ever expected her sister, her own twin, to betray her that way. Especially since Lacey had been the only thing she had left since their parents had died.
Oh, Lacey had tried to explain it off as nothing back then as well, but it was all Pamela could do to look at her, let alone hear her excuses. That's why she had run away. So young and on her own. It wasn't any wonder she'd been so taken with Frankie when she'd met him. He swept her off her feet and made her feel she belonged somewhere, to someone.
She only wished she hadn't been so naive as to believe that belonging to someone was the answer to all her problems. She'd seen her share of heartache since then and she really did want to forgive Lacey for the past, to believe that there was nothing to what happened with Conner back then. To believe that nothing was going on with Zach now.
"Pamela!" She turned in the darkness from her seat on a large rock and saw a shadowy figure approaching. Fear tingled down her spine and she shuddered. At this moment, she only wished to be alone with her thoughts. It didn't appear she'd get that wish.
October 29th, 2007, 10:47 AM
"I'd better go after her." Lacey started toward the front door but Zach stopped her.
"Let her cool off a little. She's had a rough couple of days. Hell, she's had a rough seven years from what I've learned about her life with that scumbag husband." Lacey's tears were nonstop and if there was one thing that turned him into putty, it was a woman's tears but he didn't dare try the comfort routine this time.
"Maybe you're right. Hey, Corey!" Lacey wiped away her tears quickly and transformed her face with a smile. "Well, just look at all those shells. Did you leave any on the beach?"
Corey looked at Zach, wondering if they'd taken too much. "Yes, Aunt Lacey. We left lots. Zach wanted me to take one, but it had a hole in it so I threw it back."
Zach laughed. "So there's at least one more shell on the beach."
"Where's Momma? She's not in her room." His eyes widened. "I thought she was crying."
"Maybe I'll just take a peek outside," Zach said. "Make sure she's okay."
Lacey stared at this little boy just brought into her life a few hours ago and wondered how it was possible that she could be feeling such love for him so quickly. Pammy's little boy. She'd missed out on all the wonders of her pregnancy. She wasn't there to hold her twin's hand during a labor that might have been difficult. First steps and words. But most of all she'd missed out on so many years with her sister.
"Auntie, are you crying, too?"
Lacey nodded. "But it's happy tears, Corey because I'm just so glad you're here."
He beamed. "Me too. Can we live with you? I don't want to go home where Daddy lives." He put his small arms around Lacey's neck. "He hurts her."
Any hardness or past hurt--real or imagined--dissolved from Lacey's heart. "Yes, Corey. This is your home, too and you can stay as long as you want."
Her name drifted in the wind and into the sea. "Zach? Sorry I left like that. It's just when I saw you with my sister....well, I guess it's all been too much. I've been on overload."
She walked toward Zach and the beginning of a smile crept on her face. He'd been her rock through this whole thing and she'd not forgotten that kiss and she wanted more. God, right now, she wanted to melt into his arms and let him take her into a sweet oblivion.
The beach darkened as a cloud slowly covered the moon's light. Why was Zach just standing there? Maybe he was angry with the adolescent way she'd acted after everything he'd done for her. "I am sorry, Zach." Determined to give him a kiss that would erase any doubt he might have regarding her feelings for him, she began to run toward him.
Just as she reached him, the cloud had moved away and light shone on the beach and on...
October 29th, 2007, 12:27 PM
"Zach's here too, huh? I take it I wasted a trip to find you," Marcus was shaking his head in disapproval, "Sounds to me like you found another savior to rescue your sweet ass."
Marcus stepped closer, his features cast in odd grotesque shadows by the moonlight. When his hands came to rest on Pamela's shoulders, she shuddered under his tight grip.
"W-w-what are you doing here Marcus? How did you find me?" The question was out before she realized she already knew the answer. He knew where her only family lived and he had figured out she ran to Lacey, even after everything he'd done to keep them apart from one another. He was unaware she knew about that though.
"I traced your tickets, once I realized you'd hopped a plane for here. I thought you said you'd never return to Rockport Pamela? I thought you couldn't bear to come back here and face your sister and your past."
"Maybe I was wrong. Frankie doesn't know I have a twin sister Marcus. He doesn't think I have any family who would look out for me," Pamela insisted, the sting of his fingers dug deeper, "Ow, you're hurting me."
She watched his dark eyes move over her face and down her neck to her breasts, his grip loosening slightly.
"I'm sorry Pammy, I just missed you so much and I was afraid you were gone from my life for good." His arms encircled her and his mouth came down to meet hers, his tongue desperate to pry her lips open.
Wild fury flew through her and she press her arms against his chest, trying to shove him away with her palms in disgust. He was lying to her as well as trying to seduce her. And worst still, he seemed overcome with a possessive desire she had never seen from him before. Oh, she'd known that kind of feeling in Frankie's arms, but never Marcus.
This wasn't the man she had known. This was a man determined to stake his claim on her. He was no better than Frankie Scott!
"Get off me Marcus," Pamela shouted, "Let me go. Please!"
She fought as hard as she could, her arms weakening even as fear kicked her adrenaline into overdrive. She wasn't sure she could stave him off much longer as his teeth came down hard over her bottom lip.
"Owww!" Pamela screamed, her head thrown back in an attempt to wriggle away from him.
As though sucked through a vacuum, Marcus was suddenly and swiftly pulled backward before Pamela could tell what was happening.
"The lady asked nicely asshole."
She recognized Zach's voice just before she heard the crack of his fist against Marcus's jaw.
November 1st, 2007, 09:59 AM
Marcus stumbled in the sand, landing on his backside with a mighty grunt. His hand immediately found his jaw. As angry as he was, the urge to get up and fight back was just too painful.
"You're a lucky son-of-a-bitch Zach," he said with a growl. "If I had the strength I'd get up and kill you now. But I just have no fist fight left in me."
Zach stepped in front of Pamela, trying not to enjoy the way she held his arm. The anticipation and fear lay heavily in her grip.
"I'm sorry Pamela," Marcus said as he stood back up on his feet. He leaned his hands on his knees and heaved a disgruntled sigh. "I guess I know my place now."
Pamela's heart sank. She loosened her grip on Zach's arm and walked towards him.
"Marcus," she whispered with a solemn breath. "It's okay."
"No," Zach grabbed her hand. "Don't trust him."
"Zach," she turned and smiled. "It's okay now."
"No," Marcus said as he grabbed her by the hand and pulled her away from Zach's grasp. "It's not okay. I know my place, but it's not where you think. There's no stopping Frankie. He'll kill me if I don't take you back to him. I'll be stuck in his spiraling web for the rest of my life, so I may as well accept it and do as I'm told."
Zach's eyes widened. The fear of losing Pamela again made his heart thump--an excruiciating sensation. He reached out to grab her but suddenly stopped as Marcus pulled a gun from his belt and held it against her throat.
"It's too late Zach," he said as he backed her away towards the house. "Frankie wants her alive, but I'm not at all opposed to making a few holes first.
"Marcus," Pamela managed to cry out. "Why are you doing this? I thought you loved me."
"Oh," he replied. "I do love you Pammie. I've always loved you, but I just can't keep up the fight for you anymore. The Scott's are too powerful of a family to meddle with any longer. And like I said, I'm tired."
Zach knew he had to do something. Marcus had finally gone over the edge. His unstable eyes were rich with hate and tired with anger.
"Come on Marcus," Zach said as he followed them carefully towards the house, devising a plan to grab Pamela away and hopefully without any harm coming to her. "You know you won't do anything to hurt her. You love her too much."
"Shut your mouth," Marcus said between clenched teeth. "I'll shoot her if you move any closer."
"No you won't," Zach replied, hoping he wasn't making the wrong decision, calling his bluff.
"The only thing Frankie really wants is his boy. He could care less about the bitch."
The word brought more tears to Pamela's eyes. She'd never believed Marcus would betray her like this. He'd never said a harsh word to her before.
"You're not my Marcus," she managed to cry out.
Just as Marcus took his eyes off Zach to acknowledge Pamela's cry, Zach lunged for her. But just as he grabbed her arm, a thundering sound went off in his ears. An echo pounded with the crashing waves as Zach stared into Pamela's frightened eyes.
The moment was surreal and horrifying. To think he would lose her again, but for good this time was something he just couldn't fathom. And at this moment, the love he held for her surfaced dramatically, and unfortunately too late.
Now he had no choice but to let her fall one last time, but amazingly it wasn't her that fell to the ground. It was Marcus.
November 1st, 2007, 11:04 AM
Time and movement seemed to freeze in that moment. Pamela stared at Zach wild-eyed, her heart thundering in her ears. Her gaze moved to the ground where Marcus lay, blood oozing from a severe head wound.
"Where did that come from?" Pamela gasped, glancing around, up toward the house.
She followed Zach's gaze up the hill where a dark shadow was moving quickly toward them. As the figure grew closer Pamela felt her heart catch in her throat and tears begin to overflow.
"Is he dead?" her sister asked breathlessly, coming to a halt beside Pamela.
Zach knelt down slowly and placed his fingers to Marcus's wrist, then his neck.
"Well, either he's dead or its as I suspected, the man had no heart to begin with. There's no pulse."
"That's not necessary," Pamela said shaking her head, "He was a good man. Maybe not in his last moments, but he was a good man Zach."
"Pamela, the man had a gun to your throat," Lacey spit, "I wasn't about to let him take my sister from me again."
Pamela collapsed on her knees near Marcus's body, her face in her hands. Sobs wracked her body as reality sank in. Marcus was dead and it was all her fault. She'd used him to escape Frankie and she'd gotten him killed.
She felt the light touch of Zach's hand on her shoulder as he spoke quietly, "Pamela, Lacey did what she did to save your life. To save you and Corey. If we'd let him take you, he could've shot you, taken Corey and left you to die."
Pamela shrugged Zach's hand away.
"I could've went back. I would've went willingly and then I could've gotten away again," she cried, "Marcus wouldn't be dead now."
"No, you couldn't have. Do you honestly think Frankie would let you get away again? He'd just as soon kill you as he would let you go."
Lacey's words stung, but Pamela knew it to be the truth. Frankie was out for vengence now and nothing and no one in her life was safe.
"What are we going to do about Marcus?" Pamela glanced up at Zach and her sister through her tears.
"Mommy, what was all that noise?" Corey asked coming up behind Zach, "Hey, what's Marcus doing here?"
November 3rd, 2007, 10:12 PM
"Corey!" Pamela rushed to her young son and hid Marcus from view.
"Momma?" Why is Marcus sleeping on the beach?"
All three adults stared at Corey.
Pamela frantically searched for the right words, for safe words. She glanced at Marcus' body. Well, when all else fails, lie! "No, honey, that's not Marcus. He's back in Georgia." She held his hand and began walking to the house. "That's..uh...Danny and he..." she lowered her voice to a whisper, "...he had too much to drink."
"Oh." Corey shook his head, understanding. "Like Daddy."
"Exactly." Pamela took a deep breath. "So we'd better go before he wakes up." She continued walking to the house, but turned around to look at Zach and Lacey. "I'm taking Corey to bed. Think you can handle..."
"Danny?" Lacey cut in. "Under control. 'night, Corey."
Corey turned around and put his fingers to his lips. "Shhh."
Pamela quickened her pace. "Last one in the house is a rotten egg." They raced back to the house and before shutting the front door, Pamela tried to see what was happening, but darkness had enveloped the beach. She shut the door and prayed that Zach and Lacey knew what needed to be done.
Zach nudged Marcus' still body with his foot. "Wish I could say I was sorry, buddy, but I like you much better dead." He looked up at Lacey. "Kinda peaceful looking, don't you think?"
Lacey nodded. "Death certainly seems to suit him." She stuck her hands inside her pockets to keep them from shaking and peered around to see if they'd been seen, but not a soul was around. "Zach, what are we going to do? It's only a matter of time before her husband finds us. You heard Marcus. This guy will stop at nothing."
Zach sat beside Lacey. "We could call the police. It was an accident, after all and maybe your sister needs some protection."
"No! NO! Not the police." Lacey felt a scream build inside her and kept it at bay because she knew once she began, she might never stop. "It's more complicated than Pamela's psychotic husband's family. We've got history in this town." She shook her head and stared at the corpse on the beach. "Isn't there some kind of expression about those who forget history?"
Zach nodded. "Yeah. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it."
Lacey stared at Marcus and wrung her hands. "Consider us condemned, Zach."
November 6th, 2007, 08:53 AM
"So what are we going to do with him," Zach asked, turning his gaze to Lacey.
"Well, we surely can't throw him in the ocean. If they find the body, they'll know he was shot and I'm sure they'd eventually trace it back to me. If we bury him, we'll have to get rid of his vehicle, which is sure to be parked around here somewhere."
Lacey chewed her lower lip and paced back and forth.
Zach watched her and wondered how it was that she looked just like Pamela and yet he didn't find himself attracted to her the way he was Pamela.
He glanced up to the house and saw her standing in the doorway, looking down over them. He knew Pamela needed comforting now and he wanted to go to her, but first things first.
"Just what kind of history do you and Pamela have in this town?"
November 8th, 2007, 08:00 PM
"I'll give you a history lesson some other time, Zach. Right now, we've got a dead body getting colder by the minute." A wave raced toward Lacey and crashed a few feet away from Marcus' outstretched arm. She jumped. "Damn you, Marcus. You couldn't do anything right."
Zach stared at her. "Did you know Marcus?"
Lacey picked up one of the corpse's feet. "Like I said, history lesson later. I got a plan. Would you mind getting his left foot, Zach."
"I'll just follow your lead." Zach picked up the foot and together they dragged his body toward the house and by the bulkhead doors.
"Just a second." Lacey opened the doors and ran inside, coming back a minute later with a blue tarp. They wrapped it around his body and dragged it further down the stairs.
Zach stared at a huge freezer. "You'd like me to hoist him inside, I'm supposing?"
Lacey nodded,then watched at Zach stuffed Marcus' body inside the cold freezer.
Zach slammed the cover down. "Think I'll eat out tomorrow."
Pamela ran down the basement stairs and stared at the freezer. "Marcus?" She pointed her head toward the freezer.
Lacey nodded. "We didn't want him to go bad."
Pamela folded her arms across her chest. "Too late for that, Lacey. I think he went bad years ago. The minute he left your team and joined Frankie's."
Lacey's face paled. "How long did you know I hired Marcus to find you?"
Pamela pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket. "Not till a few minutes ago when I found this letter you wrote to him."
Lacey slumped against the freezer. "I can explain."
Zach smiled. "Time for our history lesson now?"
November 13th, 2007, 11:14 PM
Lacey threw another log on the fire. Sparks flew and resettled. The night had cooled some, but the chill she felt was not in the air but deep inside the marrow of her bones. She hugged herself before turning around to face Pammy and Zach. Seeing her twin sister after all these years was the most wonderful thing and what she'd wanted more than anything for longer then she could remember, but how could life become so complicated so quick?
She sat down on the blue and yellow chintz sofa and stared at Zach and Pamela sitting next to each other on the matching couch across from her. They look like a couple, she thought. "We need to tell Zach a couple of things, Pam. Some stuff you know already." She stared at her hands. "Some you don't."
Pamela sighed. "Where the hell are you going to start?"
"Most people would say in the beginning, but it's all too complicated so we'll start somewhere in the middle. Pamela and I fell in love wtih Conner O'Shea when we were 17, but we didn't realize he was playing both of us for a long time. At first we were devasted and hated each other."
"But it didn't last," Pamela said. "And we decided to get even with him."
"When he thought he was dating Lacey," Lacey cut in....
"He was dating me," finished Pamela. "We kept that going for some time until....
"Until I got pregnant." Lacey's eyes filled with tears. "I met him by the piers one night and to be honest..." She looked at her sister. "Well, I really thought he loved me. I mean me, Lacey, not a matching set, but me all for myself." She wiped away a tear. "But I was wrong. When I told him, he denied it was his and said it could have been anyone's. I went hysterical, telling him I'd been a virgin, but he only laughed harder. We fought. I mean really fought on the piers. It started raining and..." Now Lacey began sobbing.
Pamela ran over and hugged her sister. "Lacey, you never told me this. Pregnant? My God. You should have told me..."
Zach ran his fingers through his hair, wishing he could say something to help, but kept his silence.
"No, Pamela, let me finish, please," Lacey cried. "The pier was so slippery and we just went crazy. Conner lunged for me, but I ducked and he fell off the pier, hitting one of the moored boats before he hit the water. I screamed for help, but it was too late. His body washed on shore somewhere near Glouchester a few days later."
Pamela gasped and covered her mouth. "But we all thought it was suicide. That's what Mom told me. She said he was so despondant over breaking up with you that he...he..."
"I know, Pammy," Lacey said. "That what Mom and Dad said I had to do. God forbid anybody in Rockport should find out that a child of the Winthrops was anything less than perfect. So they shipped me off to Aunt Marion's to have the baby."
"The baby?" Pamela whispered. "What happened, Lacey?"
"I had a little girl but they talked me into giving it up. I know she'd have a stable family, but I never regretted anything more in my life."
"Do you know who adopted her?" Zach asked.
Lacey nodded. "After years and years of looking, I just found out a week ago." She stared at her hands and then slowly lifted her head and stared at her sister. "You won't believe this but her adoptive parents are..... Katherine and Thomas Scott." She took a deep breath. "In Georgia."
Pamela's blood froze and a loud buzz sounded in her ears. The room began to blur. "It can't be. It can't. You're telling me that Frankie Scott's brother Tommy and his wife are the..."
"Yes. My baby's parents." Lacey swept away tears and sobbed in earnest. "She...she's not a lbaby any more, not even a ittle girl. This is her second year in college." She put her head into her hands. "I missed so much. So much."
Pamela flew to Lacey's side and sat on the floor beside her. "I know her, Lacey. I know her. Maura. Her name is Maura," whispered Pamela. "My God, Lacey. We've got to get her out of that family."
November 14th, 2007, 08:51 AM
Zach looked from one woman to another.
"I don't understand," he said, "How could you have not known Pamela?"
"I didn't want to believe that Connor had really loved Lacey and not me. I left town because I thought I had kept them from really being together. If I wasn't in the picture anymore and I had lost him, I figured it was better if I wasn't around."
Zach saw the tears glistening in Pamela's eyes, before she turned to Lacey.
"It was months later that I talked to mom on the phone and she told me about Connor's suicide. She did tell me you had gone to stay with Aunt Marion's, but I thought it was because you couldn't stand to stay here knowing what had happened to him."
"But if you haven't seen each other in twenty years, how old would that make Maura now?" Zach asked, more and more confused by the moment.
Both sisters turned to face Zach.
Lacey spoke up, "She's ten."
November 14th, 2007, 09:13 AM
"Ten?" Lacey and Zach both looked at each other.
Lacey fell against the sofa in a heap and shook her head. "No. No. Of course, she's older, almost twenty. It's just that after I started searchng for her I found this..." She pulled out a creased polaroid from her pocket of a young girl with a happy, but crooked smile. "She was about ten then and I guess I just sort of froze her at that age in my mind."
Pamela squeezed her sister's hand. "Oh, Lacey. We'll make this right, don't worry." She turned to Zach. "You still in this mess with us?"
He nodded. "We'll find Maura."
Lacey played with the ends of her hair. "I'm trying to take all of this in, Pamela. It's almost impossible to believe that my daughter ended up in the family your married into. How is this possible?" Her eyes widened as bits of their conversation finally settled in her whirling brain. "And what's wrong with her parents? Is she in danger or.....what....?" Now she stared at her sister. "What is going on?"
Pamela shook her head slowly and patted Lacey's hand. "I know. I know. It's absolutely crazy that your daughter ended up in the Scott family, but she has." She sat up and looked her sister in the eye. "When I married Frankie, Maura must have been about....about three. It's funny. She looked so familiar and she reminded me of you. Always. But I figured I was just homesick and I was trying to recreate my family."
"Whoa. You know this is crazy." Zach stood up and began pacing the room. "How exactly did your daughter end up in Tiptlon County? The odds are incredible."
Tears sprung to Lacey's eyes. "I only saw my baby once, after she was born. They brought her in for me to hold and I didn't want to let her go. They had to force her from my arms." She sobbed in earnest now. "Aunt Marion came in and said it was for the best. That it would be selfish for me to keep her, so I let her go." She blew her nose loudly. "She did tell me she knew of a good family in Georgia, but that's all she ever told me. Years later, I hired Marcus and that's when he found out..."
Pamela's eyes widened. "That Maura and I lived in the same town....and in the same family."
"Incredible," Zach said.
"But Lacey," Pamela put her hand on Lacey's arm. "I'm not kidding. The Scotts are a dangerous bunch. And I know Frankie's brother. He's one of the craziest. We've got to do something about Maura."
December 2nd, 2007, 09:15 AM
**needs an ending**
:gun_bandana: big shootout with Frankie
Bouncy Icon Smilie Bouncy Icon Smilie lots of hoorays from the twins when Frankie goes down
HugMe Zach and Pam get it on
Cheerleader Everyone cheers
**end smilie intervention**
December 2nd, 2007, 10:33 AM
xmasreindeer sounds cool can't wait to find out what happens
December 2nd, 2007, 10:45 AM
Dawn arrived at its usual time in Rockport. And although they'd worked feverishly all night, or what had been left of the night, they could not come up with a safe plan to connect Maura and Lacey. After all these years how would Maura greet her new mother? Thinking that maybe a change of scenery might help, Lacey arranged for Mrs. Harris to watch Corey at her house in Diller’s Cove while the three adults had breakfast at Mulligan’s by the pier.
"It's going to make it all the harder," Pamela explained, lifting her cup for the waitress to pour in her third refill. "You see, although Maura was three when she came to the Scotts, they never did tell her she was adopted." She paused and looked at her twin for a long time. "She doesn't know anything about you, Lacey. They never told her. She believes Katherine and Tommy Scott are her only parents."
Lacey slumped against the back of the booth's torn leather seat, completely exhuasted. Maybe she should just give and allow Maura to live her life without further complications.
As though reading her mind, "Forget it, Lacey," Pamela said. "Maura needs to get out of that family. " And then she began the story of the Scott legacy.
Over multiple cups of strong coffee, Pamela told how she'd come across a diary left by her recently deceased mother-in-law that detailed how the Scotts wanted to run the town of Tipton from the second they moved in. When the mayor couldn't be bought out, they simply killed him and his entire family, then burned their homes and all the evidence. Maybe some people in town suspected them, but they were either afraid to do anything or else went over to the winning side. For over fifty years the Scotts had Tipton in their back pocket. And they were into everything....drugs, murder, extortion. Pamela was literally sick when she discovered the depth of the evil the Scotts were capable of doing.
Once she'd read the diary she made up her mind to take Corey and leave as soon as was safely possible. Her one mistake had been to confine in Marcus but she believed she'd been in love and he had been one very good looking safety net.
“Speaking of Marcus,” Zach said. “Isn’t he getting freezer burn about now?”
Pamela and Lacey looked at each. “I guess we’d better deal with that…”
Lacey stopped suddenly and dropped her cup, splattering coffee over everyone’s feet. “My God, Zach,” she whispered. “That’s Frankie over there.” <O:p</O:p
“Let’s get out back,” Pamela said. “The Mulligans have a fishing boat we can take and get to the house, hopefully without him seeing us.”
They ran out back and after a few quick words with Jack Mulligan, they jumped into the boat full of chum. Pamela unmoored the boat and they headed for home. <O:p</O:p
“No,” Pamela screamed and pointed. “It’s Frankie and he’s in another boat.” Lacey got the boat going at full speed but it was soon obvious there was no way their little fishing boat could go faster than Frankie's speedboat. In second his boat was right beside them. Pamela saw a flash of steel and screamed. "He's got a gun!" Without thinking she threw a pail full of chum at him, but it missed and fell heavily into the water.
Before Pamela began to open her mouth to scream, Zach had already gotten his gun out and taken deadly aim. One shot did the trick. Frankie fell into the water soundlessly. The boat started to spin in circles. Lacey watched helplessly as her husband's lifeless body was cut repeatedly by the propellors. Her hand flew to hr mouth as she watched in horror as a large fin came from nowhere to circle their boat.
"Oh God, is that a...?
"Shark?" Lacey finished. "And it's a......"
"Great White!" Zach stared at the circling fin. "I thought Great Whites only appeared in New England in Spielberg movies.
Pamela looked at Zach's gun. "You need bigger artillery."
Zach shook his head. "No, we need a bigger boat." He shrugged. "Okay, I stole the line from Jaws, but it's still true."
"Frankie," Pamela screamed, then turned away at the sight of her once lover amidst the chum and shark.
Zach stared into the water and shook his head again. "I'd sing Mack the Knife, Frankie, but it seems I've forgotten the words."
Thanksgiving, later that year/Rockport, Massachusetts
"Pass that cranberry relish down this way, please, Aunt Pamela."
Pamela looked at her beautiful auburn-haired niece and smiled. "Sure, honey. Anythine else you want?"
Maura grinned. "I think I've got just about everything I need." She glanced around the festive table and the family so recently discovered. For the first time in her life she felt wanted and she felt at home. "Yeah, I think I've got it all."
Pamela held Zach's hand underthe table. "It's like a fairy tale," she whispered. "Maybe at times, a gruesome fairy tale, but still magical and with a happy ending. Frankie's not a threat. His brother Tommy and Katherine in jail until they sign up for Medicare. And the best, Pamela connecting with Maura."
Zach lifted Pamela's face and kissed her softly. "The best? It's strong competition with the way we've been connecting, Pam." His grin turned into a leer.
Pamela felt a rush of hot blood course through her veins as she thought of the first time they'd realized how deep their feelings for each other went and how they'd made love all night long that first time.
Corey climbed onto Pamela's lap. "Momma, this is the best day. Ever." He looked around the table and like Maura, realized a contentment and sense of family he'd never experienced before. "And I like the way smiles stay on your face now."
Pamela brushed away a lock of hair from her son's face and kissed the top of his head. "I know, baby. I think smiles are here to stay." She lifted a glass of wine in the air. "To family.....and everything we have to be thankful for, Happy Thanksgiving."
There was a roundof cheers, laughter and love. Pamela smiled again. She'd come full circle and they'd all found each other, and home.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.10 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.